It's not too difficult- the only issues might be time and fridge space. Plus, it makes a nice addition to hors d'oeuvres (and the repertoire).
When buying fish, make sure it has a nice color, firm (not mushy) flesh, and doesn't smell fishy.
Fresh is good.
Once the fish is cured use a very sharp, thin and flexible knife cut it into paper thin slices.
It'a actually at it's best when cut thinly... can you see light through a slice of salmon?
I admit that the slices don't always slice as they should, but try to slice not so much down, as across the piece salmon...
Serve salmon ice cold with brown bread, crème fraîche, diced red onions, capers, and lemon wedges.
People can put together their own pretty little canapés.
And gravlax earns the "breakfast of champions" status with creamy scrambled eggs, chives, and toast.
makes a lot...
Adapted from the Canal House
1 whole salmon (2 sides), about 4 1/2-5 lbs total, skin on
1/3 c kosher salt
3 T sugar
1/2 c fresh dill, minced
2 1/2 T black peppercorns, coarsely cracked
1/4 c vodka (2 T for each salmon half)
Mix salt, sugar, dill, and pepper in a bowl. Place each piece of salmon skin side down and divide the salt mixture between the two pieces. Lightly rub the salt into the salmon flesh then drizzle 2 T of vodka over each salmon half.
Place one piece of salmon skin side down on a large cookie sheet with sides. Position the other piece of salmon flesh side on top of the first piece of salmon so that the salt is on the inside, sandwiched between the two pieces of fish. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly over the top and sides of the salmon, blocking air from reaching it. Position another cookie sheet over the top of the salmon and weight with several heavy cans. Refrigerate.
Several times a day, remove the plastic wrap, turn the fish, re-cover, and re-weight. The salmon will be cured in 5 days. Dry the fish and wipe off the salt and herbs (but don't rinse).
Cut the salmon thinly and serve cold.
Once cured, gravlax will last about a week or so if refrigerated.
If you must, you could freeze it.