Homemade Gravlax and Lemon Dill Butter
There are some recipes I prepare that make me feel like I am way cooler and much more awesome than I probably really am. Such as Homemade Gravlax and Lemon Dill Butter.
Gravlax is very similar to lox with a couple major differences. Both are cured salmon as opposed to smoked salmon. The major differences are that lox is cured for a much longer time and true lox is heavily salty. Gravlax is quick-cured and contains herbs, spices, or other flavorings – dill being an essential. Often fennel, juniper berries, aquavait, and other flavorings are added, but for a basic gravlax all you really need besides a nice piece of salmon is sugar, salt, and dill.
I’ve been wanting to make gravlax for some time but in many recipes it required some babysitting – turning the gravlax every 12 hours for 3 days. I can barely remember to eat lunch every day so remembering to turn my salmon every 12 hours for 3 days is a bit of a risk. Also, most recipes call for an entire section of center cut salmon – that’s a lot of salmon and a lot of expense!
This recipe for gravlax is a modified version I gave a try, and guess what? The results are fantastic! And so easy!
Since I was already feeling pretty cool about myself after the gravlax success, I decided to add in some homemade lemon dill butter. Again, so simple yet so special!
If you have never made your own butter, give it a try! I use a stand mixer, it takes about 6 minutes and seriously, how cool is it to tell people you just made butter?
One thing with the butter – as it is “churning” it goes through stages. The real trick here is not to give up too soon. First, the butter will look like whipped cream, all fluffy and thick and white. After a bit more mixing it starts to look like a disaster – sort of like cheese crumbles in milky water. Relax, have faith in the system and let it keep mixing and soon – magic! The butter comes together in a sort of ball with the liquid (or buttermilk) separated and it turns yellowish. Now it is butter!
I am sure you are already super cool and awesome, but if you want to be even more so, why not try homemade gravlax and lemon dill butter for your next brunch?
Recipe Notes: For the gravlax, I use kosher salt and Wholesome! Organic Cane Sugar – raw sugar will work just as well. For the butter, make sure you get sour cream with no fillers, just plain old natural sour cream. This is important. And since you are using the peel of the lemons, buy organic if possible.
Homemade Gravlax and Lemon Dill Butter
1 (2 – 3 pound) salmon fillet, skin on, preferably center cut
¾ cup Wholesome! Organic Cane Sugar
½ cup kosher salt
1 bunch fresh dill, stems and leaves, minced
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
Check the salmon to make sure there are no bones – if so, just pull them out.
Place a large piece of plastic wrap (at least twice the size of the salmon fillet) on a work surface and place the salmon skin side down on it.
Combine the sugar, salt, dill, and pepper and pack the mixture on top of the salmon flesh, making sure to cover completely. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, place on a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate for 24 – 48 hours.
Unwrap the salmon, rinse off any sugar/salt mixture left and pat dry well. Using a thin, sharp knife, cut thin slices on the diagonal and serve or keep refrigerated until serving time. Will keep for a couple days. Freeze any gravlax not using in plastic wrap for later, if desired.
This Homemade Gravlax and Lemon Dill Butter serves 8 – 10.
Lemon Dill Butter
1½ cups organic heavy cream
½ cup sour cream
½ cup fresh dill leaves, measured then minced
Zest of 2 organic lemons, finely grated
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Fill a mixing bowl with ice and cold water and set aside.
Combine the heavy cream and sour cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitter with the whisk attachment. Beat on high until it starts to get really thick. Add in the dill, lemon zest, salt, and pepper and continue to beat on high until the butter solidifies and separates from the liquid – from 5 to 10 minutes. (Note – things can start to splash, making a mess. Use a mixing guard or do as I do and place a kitchen towel over the mixer, taking a peek frequently so you know when it’s done.)
Gather the butter up into a ball and place in a piece of double-layered cheese cloth or a clean tea towel, squeeze gently to remove any excess liquid then rinse it in the ice water. Place in a bowl or crock and serve or refrigerate until serving time. Will last about a week.
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