Note: this recipe was part of a book I wrote called Eat Like A Maisel.
I love lox. Any lox. Gravlax. Belly lox. Goldilocks.
But I grew up hating it. It’s how I was raised. I’m from the Pacific Northwest. We have 482 kinds of salmon, and we’re taught to thumb our noses at East Coast salmon. We have coho, Chinook, and Copper River salmon, which is only in season for two days every third spring and retails for $800 per pound.
They have Atlantic. Plain old Atlantic salmon.
My parents raised me to hate Atlantic salmon. Their parents raised them to hate Atlantic salmon. (My grandparents learned it from the Native Americans.)
But then I moved to New York. I put my prejudices aside and tried Atlantic salmon. And it was delicious. To my West Coast family and friends: give Atlantic salmon a try. I think you’ll be surprised.
Put this on a bialy, blini, or bagel. (Anything that begins with a b.)
4 tablespoons + 1⁄2 teaspoon (50 g) kosher salt 3 tablespoons (40 g) sugar
1⁄2 cup (20 g) fresh dill, chopped
1 ounce gin (optional)
1 pound (453 g) center-cut salmon fillet, pinbones removed
Mix salt, sugar, dill, and gin in a bowl and set aside.
Cut a piece of plastic wrap about one-and-a-half times longer than the fillet and place it on your work surface. Place the salmon on plastic wrap, skin-side down. Sprinkle the salt mixture over the salmon, pressing it into the flesh. Wrap the fish in the plastic wrap and place it on a small baking sheet.
Place another baking sheet on top of the fish and weigh it down with whatever you have handy—a few cans of beans, that jar of gefilte fish from Astrid, or the giant mezuzahs, also from Astrid.
Refrigerate for 2 days.
Rinse off salt and sugar and pat dry with paper towels. If you prefer a firmer texture, refrigerate it for 12 to 24 hours, uncovered.
To serve, slice thinly with a sharp knife and serve with bagels and schmear or some rye bread.