Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Home-Cured Lox

What is a bagel without lox? Well, a lot of things, but it’s better with lox. As I mentioned in the bagel post, my dad made lox whenever my grandma came to town with her box o’ bagels. Being in Alaska, we had lots of access to good fish, particularly my favorite for lox, sockeye (or red) salmon. When talking to my folks about Jew brunch, I was asked what brought it on. The answer is simple: I saw a beautiful piece of sockeye for a decent price at the store and decided to go for it. So why is lox second in my postings if it was the impetuous for the whole brunch? Because the bagel entry took longer to type and it’s the base for the bagel sandwich. That’s why. Make this. You will be so pleased.

Home-Cured Lox from Deli:

¼ c. kosher salt
¼ c. sugar
1-2 Tb. freshly ground pepper
1½ lb. salmon fillet in one piece, with skin

Combine the salt, sugar, and pepper. Spread half the mixture on the bottom of a shallow glass baking dish of a size to hold the salmon comfortably. Remove any small bones left in the salmon. Dry the salmon well with paper towels. Rub the skin side with a little bit of the remaining salt-sugar mixture. Rub the rest of the mixture into the other side of the fish. Place the fish, skin side down, in the glass dish. Cover well with plastic wrap.

Place another dish on top of the salmon. Cover with a cutting board and place a weight on the board – a clean brick or some heavy canned goods (obviously I like green beans). Refrigerate for 72 hours. Every 12 hours, remove the weights, unwrap the fish, and baste with the liquid that has accumulated in the dish. Then re-wrap, re-cover, and return to the refrigerator.

At the end of the 3-day period, remove the fish from the dish and scrape off the remaining pepper. Or try to and then give up when not that much comes off. Dry, wrap well in plastic wrap, and return to the refrigerator for one more day.

To serve, place skin side down on a cutting board. With a thin, sharp carving knife, slice thinly on the diagonal, detaching flesh from the skin as you slice. Serve with bagels, cream cheese, tomatoes, and sliced sweet onion.

There would have been more to serve, but I kept eating it while slicing it off the fish. It’s kind of hard not to eat it with the smell of bagels in the oven and the anticipation of a feast on your mind. Plus, lox is ridiculously delicious. This is probably one of things I have made that I am most proud of. It came out exactly the way I wanted it to. I suppose it was a good thing I was eating so much of it because lox does not keep for long. It gets slimy after a few days, so invite some friends over and eat it up.

But what did this lox rest on? Well, of course it was cream cheese, but not store bought. Up next, the conclusion of Jew brunch!


Kirsten said...

I have to do this! Lox is so amazing I could eat it all day. I do have one question tho, while having the lox in the fridge for 3 days...does it end up kinda tasting like the fridge smells? cause i hate that.

Becca said...

Nope! Partly because it's wrapped up in plastic and partly because of all the salt and sugar. It just tastes like delicious, delicious salmon yumminess. And I don't care what Firefox says, yumminess is a word.

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