Cooking For Engineers Forum Index Cooking For Engineers
Analytical cooking discussed.
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Recipe File: Gravlax
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 10, 11, 12  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Cooking For Engineers Forum Index -> Comments Forum
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
nanaverm
Guest





PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2006 12:33 am    Post subject: Gravlax Reply with quote

I wonder how it would be with fresh fennel used instead of fresh dill. Or if freeze-dried dill weed could be used, since it will be washed off later. Any ideas?
Back to top
Guest






PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 4:53 pm    Post subject: More about wild vs fresh Reply with quote

if you want wild salmon, your best bet is to order it direct from Alaska. I read an article not long ago where a reporter in New York bought supposedly "wild" salmon from a number of reputable fish dealers, yet when they were tested for dye (farmed fish are actually dyed orange - yech!) nearly all of them were positive for the dye.
You can google up small companies in Alaska who ship fresh, frozen salmon direct to your door.

Farmed salmon are raised in pens and the waste falls directly to the bottom beneath them where it forms a layer that attracts many bacteria and other parasites. These farmed salmon have a far higher bacteria count than wild salmon - not good for something like gravlax. Not good at all...

Oh, if your store is selling "wild" salmon, one quick way to tell if they are really farmed is to just look at a number of them. If they are uniform in size and color, then they are farmed. Or perhaps you might see them in in only two sizes - male and female.
Wild fish vary considerably in length and girth. The flesh will have different tones from pale orange to dark red.

Oh, one other way to tell the difference occurs to me. All farmed Pacific salmon are Coho (sometimes called Silvers).
So if you see King (chinook) or Sockeye (Red) salmon, you can be assured it's wild fish. You wouldn't want to buy the chum (dog) salmon or Pinks for something like gravlax.

Of course, all commercially sold Atlantic salmon are farmed.

Keith, in Alaska
Back to top
Fae Aberdeen
Guest





PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 10:08 am    Post subject: Salmon Reply with quote

i have tried many types of Salmon, but non-farmed Scottish has to be best ;-}
maybe i am biased....
but if you want to be authentic surely it has to be from the region the recipie comes from.
great site by the way.
Back to top
lyly
Guest





PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 8:23 pm    Post subject: Gravlax Reply with quote

Your recipe seems great, the explanation very detailed and the comments very interesting; I read them all. As soon as I can get some good frozen salmon I'll try your recipe. When it is cured how long can we keep it in the refrigerator? Thanking you in advance
Back to top
Guest






PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2006 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just found out about this recipe and I'm very interested in trying it. I do have a few questions.

How to know if the salmon bought in the supermarket was frozen long enough or at all?

Can you use regular iodized table salt?


Like the post above, How long does it stay good in the refridgerator after?


Thank you all
Back to top
Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1616
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Sat Oct 28, 2006 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anonymous wrote:
How to know if the salmon bought in the supermarket was frozen long enough or at all?

Ask your fishmonger at the supermarket. They will know the source of the fish and whether it has been deep frozen.

Anonymous wrote:
Can you use regular iodized table salt?

Yes


Anonymous wrote:
Like the post above, How long does it stay good in the refridgerator after?

A tricky question to answer properly. I'll be conservative and say two weeks plus some common sense (If it starts to smell different, then it's probably not worth it to risk continuing to eat it).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Lintballoon



Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 42
Location: Massachusetts

PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 9:21 pm    Post subject: Sardines Reply with quote

I come from a long line of salt-aholics and anchovie lovers, and was inspired by the appearance of fresh sardines at my local fish market (the Quarterdeck in Maynard MA, highly recommended). I found a Greek recipe for sardines, in which you cover them (the sardines) in Kosher salt for around six hours, then strip the skin off and peel away the center spine and bones. A lot of water expressed from the fish. Rinse off the excess salt before serving.
It was easy and delish. Big, juicy and anchovie-like, smooth textured treats!
I served them with shots of Ouzo and a sauce made from roasted red pepper paste, tomato paste, olive oil, lemon, oregano and garlic, on toasted "artisan" bread. The liquorishy sweet taste of the Ouzo compliments the intensely salty taste of the fillets.
The recipe I used did not call for refridgerating or gutting the fish during the salting, but I did both since I am still a squeamish American.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Raymond in Bangkok
Guest





PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 5:08 pm    Post subject: Frozen Fish Reply with quote

Telling if a salmon has been properly frozen and ready for consumption can be a difficult task. As a long time fly angler freezing trout and salmon, I would like to pass on a couple of tips. There are three things you should check for when purchasing frozen salmon; vacuum sealing, secondary freezing, and freezer burn.

Most salmon fillets come in a sealed, vacuum packed bag. You should first check if the package is air tight. Vacuum packing protects the product from air and the elements. The fillet should be tightly wrapped if vacuumed packed. If the fillet freely moves inside the package, the vacuum seal has been compromised. A clear sign that the package seal has been broken is evidence of ice crystals inside the package. Next, look for secondary freezing. Second freezing occurs during the shipping process. During international shipping, cargo boxes are opened and inspected. The fillets that are on the top of the crates are exposed to outdoor heat. Though the time exposed to outdoor heat maybe minimum, it is enough to de-thaw the outside of fillets exposed to it. Though the fillets maybe in sealed packages, you should look for evidence of discolored skin on the outer edges. Freezer burn is an act of over freezing or improper freezing. If the fillet has a shine of green-gold it is subject to freezer burn. Freezer burn fillets are edible if the damaged flesh is removed.

When buying in a frozen section of a grocery store, always look for a fillet that is pink-orange in color with no sign of discoloring on the edges. Asking a assistant about the origins of the salmon is futile. Always look for clues and clear signs that that fillet is edible and decent to make gravlax.
Back to top
guest engineer/cook
Guest





PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 6:02 pm    Post subject: grav lax Reply with quote

If you are trying to add a smoked flavor to your lax or mor Lox like, I have prepared a similar cure and added a basting of liquid smoke. the results were a happy medium between grav lax and lox. vary the amount you baste in to your taste, I used 4 tbls for a 4 pound fillet and the flavor was mild and pleasing. great site!!!!
Back to top
IndyRob



Joined: 17 Dec 2006
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 5:16 pm    Post subject: Experiment in Progress Reply with quote

Inspired by this thread, I've decided to try an experiment. I'm not sure if it will work (or if it's even safe) but I'll provide an update in a few days.

I got a FoodSaver vacuum sealer for my birthday and have been using it quite a bit for a variety of things. Reading through this thread, I realized that it might offer some advantages. Of course, there has also been discussion about cheesecloth and letting gravlax breathe - so a process sans O2 might not be such a hot idea. Plus, would the lack of air inhibit the aromatic properties of the dill? I just don't know. I did find one reference to doing this on the web, so I decided to give it a try....

I stayed basically true to the original recipe given here. 8oz salmon, 15g salt, 15g sugar, 2g pepper. I recalled seeing Daniel Boulud making gravlax on television and took a tip from him to make the salt layer a little thinner where the fillet tapers off.

The packaged dill was labled at 3/4oz and seemed to be about the right amount. I used some plastic wrap just to help me to keep everything together until it was in the vacuum bag.

Edit (Michael - 2008/09/07): DEAD IMAGE

Then I put the FoodSaver to it....

Edit (Michael - 2008/09/07): DEAD IMAGE

Under vaccum it appears that there is excellent contact to the salt and dill. I'll also have zero problems with juices running around since everything is sealed. I'll probably turn it a few times just because I can.

I haven't marinated anything under vacuum yet, but the vaccum is supposed to speed up the marinating process. I'm wondering if this might apply to curing as well. I'm not going to make that assumption though, so I'll leave it for 2-3 days. Then I'll open it up and be very cautious in evaluating the results.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
IndyRob



Joined: 17 Dec 2006
Posts: 77

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 12:21 am    Post subject: A Qualified Success Reply with quote

I debagged my experiment today and I believe it to be a general success. I should note that I have never experienced proper gravlax so my impressions are based on my experience with smoked salmon.

I have a few more pics, but I don't think they'll add much to the discussion. I can post them if anyone cares, but I don't see the need to bother.

On or about day two, some juices started to appear in the bag. And that's pretty much where it stayed. I doubt that there was more than a teaspoon worth of juices even after another day.

Upon debagging (after three days), there were no off odors. The smell of dill was still readily apparent. The flesh had firmed up significantly. I removed the dill, washed the fish and made a test slice. It looked right. Everything seemed right. So I sliced off another thin piece and took a taste....

Very salty. I'll now generally agree with others that less salt might be good. HOWEVER, when I put a slice on a little disk of white bread quickly grilled in olive oil and topped with a little dab of sour cream, everything balanced out quite nicely indeed. So, in the end, I think the salt debate has to be related to what you're planning to do with the finished product.

As to the dill, I'm undecided. The flavor is there, but it's quite subtle. I think it works for me because a lot of dill influence wouldn't necessarily be a good thing. For me, dill is good only in small doses. Still, I'm left with the feeling that it should have had more of an effect. If there's any negative effect of the vacuum sealing technique, I think it would be here. No air, no aromatic effect.

Phase two of the experiment is to cryovac half the yield and freeze it. I've done that, and will report back on the results.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Guest






PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2006 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am a fishmonger and have access to salmon of all varieties and origins. Wild/farmed, fresh/frozen, fatty/lean - Atlantic, king, sockeye, coho (and even chum).

My favorite salmon for cooking is Yukon River king salmon (seasonal) or Bruce Gore's frozen king salmon (available year-round).

To make gravlax, I choose an organically-raised Atlantic salmon from the Shetland Islands. This product has a wonderful texture, high oil content and I can use it without freezing because the fish has never been exposed to parasites during its life-cycle as with a wild fish that began its life in fresh river water.

As with any type of farming, there are various methods - some better than others. Aquaculture is not going away and like it or not, it is necessary to satisfy the demand for fish worldwide. There is so much variation with "wild" salmon - the species are very different plus the quality can vary significantly depending on where and when it was caught, what it ate and how it was handled during processing. It can be some of the best fish ever... and some of the worst.

I read quite a few non-factual or misleading statements in the earlier posts. Rather than single them out, I encourage everyone to develop a relationship with their local fishmonger and do yourself a favor by learning the facts and gathering information from all sides of the story.
Back to top
GaryProtein



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At local fish dealers (Citarella, Whole Foods and Fairway), I have noticed that the muscular grain pattern in the farmed salmon appears to be coarser-farther apart-than on the wild salmon. I don't know if they are lying when they say the wild fish is really wild, but either way, the fish in the "farmed" display always has a wider grain pattern in the meat than the "wild" salmon. Is is due to farmed fish growing faster??

Is this an artifact, or is this something we should be looking for to differentiate wild and farmed salmon?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Guest






PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I have noticed that the muscular grain pattern in the farmed salmon appears to be coarser-farther apart-than on the wild salmon.

Is this an artifact, or is this something we should be looking for to differentiate wild and farmed salmon?


Farmed salmon is *almost* always Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) and wild-caught salmon is *almost* always Pacific salmon, of the genus Oncorhynchus, which include king/Chinook, Sockeye/red and Coho/silver.

These are VERY different fish. The coarseness you see in the farmed salmon is due to its natural texture plus its fat content (like the marbling of beef) which can be dramatically higher than any of the wild fish other than a king salmon that is ready to spawn. This fat contains high amounts of healthy Omega-3 oils and is what makes the fish rich and buttery.

I have never had the opportunity to see the flesh of a wild Atlantic salmon, as they are no longer commercially harvested. I would imagine the texture would be similar, but it is likely to be leaner than the aquacultured fish. When you compare wild-caught king salmon to aquacultured king salmon, the only obvious difference is the shape of the fish. The flesh is remarkably similar.

In comparison, as wild salmon is currently out-of-season, any fish in the market this time of the year has been frozen. A majority of it is Sockeye, which has about 1/3 the oil content of Atlantic salmon. The freezing process softens the flesh considerably plus it is relatively lean, so it would be difficult to notice much of a "grain pattern" in this more delicately-textured fish.
Back to top
Guest






PostPosted: Tue Dec 26, 2006 1:27 pm    Post subject: Freezing and Graving different fish Reply with quote

The thing about making sure that the fish has been frozen can be thrown out the window. You're salting the fish and the salt kills the parasites. That's the whole point of the dish: To make it edible past the cathing day regardless of its origin in the sea or the lakes. The salt kills the parasites and their eggs. At least that's how we've been taught out here in Finland. And nobody in my family has ever had any parasite infections even though we've eaten gravlax forever (talk about my granparents for that matter). Just make sure the fish is fresh.

The other thing was the question of can you "grav" other fish. The answer is yes. Very popular gravning here (in addition to salmon) is whitefish. It's just delicious.

As for the recipe's, my grandmother said that she always puts the salt first, then the sugar as the salt doesn't get absorbed as well if the sugar is mixed or put before.

About the saltiness, it sounds like you've let your fish be in the fridge too long. 2 days is a bit long. Next time try 36 hours. If it's still too salty, try 24 hours. Remember that if you use fresh fish from the ocean , the length of the gravning is a matter of taste just like the spices (juniper berries, cognac, akvavit, crushed red peppercorns). Sea-caught fresh salmon can be eaten raw if you like (sashimi, sushi anyone?).

Regs, Jarkko
Back to top
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Cooking For Engineers Forum Index -> Comments Forum All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... 10, 11, 12  Next
Page 4 of 12

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You can reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You can delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group