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Author Notes: I love raw, fresh wild salmon. I love good gin. What follows is a happy, happy marriage. This is lightly cured by most gravlax standards, as it takes a day rather than three, but it preserves the wonderful texture of outstanding fish. As an appetizer for a dinner party, or a smart meal in itself with people you like (a lot!), this is something worth splurging on, just once in a while. I think it is best served with brown bread and butter, and nips of viscously cold gin on the side. —Marie Viljoen
- 1 side of wild salmon
- 1 bunch dill, washed and dried
- 1/2 lemon's zest
- 1 lemon's juice
- 1/4 cup Bombay sapphire gin
- 2 tablespoons black peppercorns, roughly crushed
- 1 tablespoon excellent salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- You need a dish wide enough to hold your salmon side comfortably, as well as a smaller dish to weigh it down, with a brick, or cans, anything heavy, on top of that.
- Rinse and pat dry your salmon. Remove pin bones if there are any.
- Combine the dill, lemon zest, lemon juice and gin.
- Pour half this mixture into the dish that will hold the fish.
- Sprinkle half the peppercorns, salt and sugar over the base of the dish.
- Lay your salmon, skin side down, in the dish.
- Add the remaining ingredients over the side facing up.
- Lay a sheet of clingfilm (or greaseproof paper if you are worried about what's in the plastic) over the salmon.
- Place a nesting dish or any dish that can cover the length of the salmon, on top. Weigh this down with cans, side by side, or a brick, or baking beans. You get the idea.
- Place this in the fridge for 6 hours minimum, 12 hours maximum.
- Flip the fish, so that the orange side is facing down. Sometimes I taste the juice at this point and and a little more seasoning.
- Put it back in the fridge for another 6-12 hours.
- Remove from fridge and pat dry.
- With a very sharp knife, with fish placed skin side down, separate skin from meat by sliding the blade between the two.
- Carve into medium-thin slices.
- Serve with good seven grain style bread and excellent butter. Lemon wedges and more black pepper on the side don't hurt.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Salmon
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