Saturday, January 12, 2013

Citrus Gravlax Cured in Milk

In Glen Park's Manzoni restaurant, I tasted a delicious Carpaccio di Salmone - basically an Italian version of gravlax. In addition to great flavor, it was beautifully soft. Although I didn't get a detailed recipe, the owner told me he marinated it for two days in milk and oranges.

So when I saw sashimi-grade salmon at Whole Foods, I thought I'd give it a shot. Jetlagged at 3AM, I could not find one recipe online that cured salmon with milk. So I ran an experiment - one piece of salmon with the citrus and milk and one without the milk.

I used two tablespoons of kosher salt per 1/2 lb of salmon and a bit less of raw cane sugar, a handful of chopped dill, as well as a few orange and lemon slices. I put those ingredients all around the salmon, and covered one of the salmon slices with St. Benoit's whole milk. I sealed the dishes with plastic wrap and put them in the fridge with water bottles on top of the plastic wrap. Pulled them out two days later, and this is what I had for breakfast at 4:30AM on Saturday (still jetlagged).

The milk-cured one definitely had a more velvety soft texture, which made for a sumptuous mouth feel. However, it was a little more flabby so the presentation was not as nice. It was also a tad sweeter, so I may try less sugar in the milk-cured version next time. Overall, both were delicious.

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