Received a wonderful cookbook as a wedding gift called Homemade by Yvette Van Boven. I’ve cooked a few recipes so far and have loved them all. I enjoy the rustic, and simple recipes and I am a sucker for several day food preps. It is like a Christmas present when you finally get to enjoy the food. Naturally, I tried her Fennel seed and Pernod cured salmon. She uses the finished salmon in a salmon tartare, but I used mine with other dishes.
Fennel Seed and Pernod Marinated Salmon:
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 1 cup salt
- 2 whole sides of salmon, with skin
- ¾ cup fennel seeds
- 1 generous bunch dill, chopped
- 1¼ cups Pernod
Line a large baking dish with plastic wrap, allowing plenty to hang over the edges. Combine the sugar and salt. Sprinkle two handfuls of this mixture on the bottom. Place one side of salmon on the mixture, skin side down. Sprinkle with a portion of the sugar-salt mixture, fennel seeds, dill, and half the Pernod. Also sprinkle the other piece of salmon (reserve a little sugar-salt mixture) and place it on the other side of the tray. Sprinkle the top of the fish with the remaining salt mixture and cover the entire salmon tightly with the plastic wrap. Place the fish in a cool place and place a number of heavy objects on it to press it down. Cans, for example, or something similar. Leave the fish to marinate for at least 24 hours, but preferably 48 hours.
Remove the plastic wrap, scrape the salt from the salmon using a knife, and cut the salmon into thin slices.
Serve with a salad of thinly sliced fennel and lemon juice.
The first dish I made with the finished salmon was sweet potato cakes topped with marinated salmon, soft boiled egg, with herbed creme fraiche and Jesus Christ was it good. For the sweet potato cakes I grated a sweet potato, added about a table spoon of flour, salt, pepper, parsley, and garlic and mixed it thoroughly with my hands and formed cakes. I put the cakes on a hot pan with olive oil and cooked till brown. While I was making the cakes, I had my soft boiled egg going in the pot. Here is a link to a video on how to make a soft-boiled (or 6 minute) egg. For the creme fraiche I just mixed it with fresh herbs, but you can of course use whatever you want or even plain greek yogurt. Plated the creme fraiche, potato cakes, sliced cured salmon, and soft boiled egg and had a mouthgasm. One of the best at home-brunches I’ve ever made.
The next day I invited my neighbor over and we had a lox party. Bought some delicious local bread from Sub Rosa Bakery and put the salmon together with an assortment of toppings. It was delicious.