Cured salmon

After reading in Ruhlman's Twenty about the power of salt, I finally did something I've been considering doing for years - I cured salmon. I will not wait years to do this again. It's so ridiculously easy to turn a slab of salmon into beautiful, delicious cured salmon that is amazing on its own, paired with crackers, or piled on toasted bagels with cream cheese. Also ridiculously inexpensive, when I consider all the $6 4-ounce packages of smoked salmon I've bought over the years. For less than $15 I have more than 2 pounds of cured salmon in the fridge. I have no compunction at all about eating one more slice - it's healthful, delicious, and cheap to boot!

The recipe Ruhlman provides in Twenty is for citrus-cured salmon. Basically, you grate the zest from a grapefruit, an orange, a lemon, and a lime. You place your salmon on a bed of kosher salt and distribute the zest over the salmon, then cover the fish with a lot more kosher salt. Seal in aluminum foil and refrigerate for 24 hours. Wash off the cure, wait a few more hours, then slice thinly and enjoy the heck out of the little pieces that get stuck on the knife while you slice.
place salt bed on foil

put salmon on salt bed, skin side down, spread zest evenly, and cover with salt

double-wrap the salmon in foil. place on baking tray and cover with another tray. weight down with bricks or cans and refrigerate 24 hours.

drain liquid and remove foil.

wash off cure.

refrigerate for a few more hours

slice thinly and enjoy!

A few more months and this guy will be able to sample the salmon!

By the way, I'm loving Ruhlman's Twenty so far. I've only made it to chapter three (of twenty), 'Water', but there's already been a lot of basic principles and great advice, plus some excellent recipes. It was supposed to be a Christmas gift, but it was backordered on Amazon for months and I just recently was able to pick it up. The photography is gorgeous, and he takes you step by step through many of the processes like curing salmon.


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