By Sarah Lagrotteria
We at Apples & Onions have had a very exciting weekend! It was both Lyd and Angus’ birthday this weekend which means I got to feel extra appreciative of two of my most special dears all at once. We’ll have some photos and recipes for you from Lydia’s very chic retro soiree later in the week, but first a quick look at Angus’ birthday breakfast.
It’s my lot in life to have married someone who, unlike me, does not have a fat tooth. The idea of birthday cake does nothing for Angus, so I have to think outside the butter, sugar, flour and egg box to come up with a birthday treat. This year it was a breakfast featuring a salad of cantaloupe and pretty pomegranate seeds, long slices of toasted rustic bread, cream cheese, sliced cucumbers and tomatoes and homemade gravlax which is the closest I can come to smoked salmon in my own kitchen. I used this recipe, which is the simplest I’ve tried and the only one that doesn’t require weighing the salmon down while it cures–no cans of tomatoes stacked suspiciously on top of the foil-wrapped dish!–which means I was able to hide it successfully in plain sight. Angus didn’t have a clue until the coffee was already brewed and the bread hot and toasty.
I used wild Pacific Northwest salmon that had been flash frozen. You must use previously frozen fish when making gravlax as the freezing process kills any parasites that would otherwise, er, grow during the curing process. Also, it’s best to season with white pepper as the recipe suggests. I only had black peppercorns on hand hence the slightly dark spots where the peppercorns stained the salmon flesh. Even sightly mottled, it was still a beautiful piece of fish.
It takes longer to make toast and set the table than it does to get the salmon ready for curing and it’s such a special treat. I’ll be doing it again. Angus ate a pound and a half!