Curing is one of the oldest and best forms of food preservation, with salt curing dating back to the 15th century it is the oldest form of preservation. Salts chief action appears to be dues to its power of drawing moisture. Thus extracting fluid to harden the tissues and creating an environment bacteria simply doesn’t want to grow in.
Due to the high oil content of salmon, this makes it the perfect fish for curing. In a restaurant we would cure whole sides of salmon as once its cured we can store it for months.
Cures can include many other things then just gin and mustard. Vodka, beetroot, juniper berries work really well. But essentially as long as you have the moisture drawing ability of salt and the preserving ability of a high alcohol spirit you simply cant go wrong.
- 400g piece salmon fillet, skin on, pinbones removed
- 4 tbsp sea salt
- 4 tbsp gin
- ½ tsp mustard powder
- 2 tbsp chopped fennel tips
Coat the salmon with salt, gin, mustard powder and fennel. Wrap in cling film and place in a dish with a small plate on top. Try and press all the air out and weight down with plate lightly or other pantry items (in lieu of the traditional sand and dirt!). Leave in the fridge overnight. Slice very thinly.
White bean and roasted tomato dip
- 4 tomatoes, halved
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 400g tin cannellini beans, drained
- 2 tbsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 180*C. Place tomatoes in a roasting dish flesh side up. Scatter salt, rosemary and garlic over the top. Roast for 20 minutes then allow to cool. Remove rosemary sprig and blitz together with cannellini beans and oil until smooth.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 packet Lavosh crackers
Place the salmon and dip onto a platter or board and serve with Lavosh crackers.