Gravlax

Two times in the past two days I have been in supermarkets that did not have any organic bananas, so for two days I did not buy any bananas. It sounds like a song, a sad song. Why am I so consumed with buying organic bananas; or why am I so consumed with buying bananas that are organic. I have “heard” that not only are conventional bananas subjected to the same pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers that all other conventionally grown fruits and vegetables are, but they are also sprayed again on the truck before they make their long journey to my local Ralphs. But is this really true? Bananas get peeled so why should I be concerned?

So I searched the internet for my answer. All I could find was schmucks like me writing blogs. They may have degrees in chemical engineering or basket weaving or a music degree like me. Their research is not vetted or based in any kind of science. I tried my usual sources: Marion Nestle, Harold McGee and Mark Bittman and got nothing. I also searched the New York Times and got nothing other than an opinion piece. Where do we get our trusted information? I always look in three or four places before I start to believe something. As my father used to always say: “Never believe anything you hear and only half of what you read.” Unfortunately, my father did not live to see the internet or he may have revised that figure downward.

I always make every attempt to vet information that I pass along and I’m sure that the basket weaver and the chemical engineer do as well, but you never know who is telling the truth. Most items that I read either make sense or they don’t. Logic plays a role in everything I evaluate and when something seems to defy logic, like the pill that Dr. Oz says is a “miracle” for losing weight, I think “pretty hard to believe” and so I look it up. Sure enough, total nonsense. This is a guy on national television (not an infomercial) wearing scrubs and very authoritatively tells millions of people a lie. Remember, “never believe anything you hear…”.  As for the bananas, I’ll stick to organic just in case.

Ingredients

  • 2 Good Sized Salmon Fillets
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Coarse Sea Salt
  • Bunch of Fresh Dill
  • Pepper

Tools

  • Chef’s Knife
  • Glass or Ceramic Baking Dish
  • Brick
  • Aluminum Foil
  1. Make sure that you buy two pieces of salmon, skin on, from the center of the fish. You want both to be the same thickness and consistent.
  2. Mix salt and sugar together.
  3. Lay one piece, skin down in the dish.
  4. Rub in half of  the salt/sugar mixture. Do the same to the other piece.
  5. Grind lots of black pepper on both.
  6. Put a good layer of fresh dill on top of the piece in the dish.
  7. Lay the other piece, skin side up, on top of the first piece of fish and press down.
  8. Place the aluminum foil covered brick on top of the fish and refrigerate for 12 hours, uncovered.
  9. After 12 hours, flip the fish and replace the brick. Repeat this for 36-48 hours.
  10. Cut thinly on the bias and serve with honey mustard, capers, sour cream and/or minced fresh dill.
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2 comments on “Gravlax

  1. giuseppe pitarresi says:

    I would worry about veggies like broccolis and the likes. I soaked them in water longtime before cooking – can’t wash away genetically engineered products. When a customer asks me about the salmon at the restaurant I say, “it’s genetically engineered and farm raised, other then that it tastes great!” Did you know that farm raise salmon is gray until they shoot some chemicals inside to make it look nice and pink? Bon appetit!

    • Giuseppe, Thanks for the note. I believe that we need GMO Labeling in this country and, weirdly, I woke up this morning thinking about writing about farm raised fish, which I will not eat. Salmon are amazing fish that swim thousands of miles and are not meant to be cooped up in a cage and fed. I’m usually against industrialized food because of health issues but this one gets me in the heart. Salmon are wonderful creatures and at the end of their lives are also delicious. Let’s keep it that way.

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