Thursday, July 5, 2007
Cured Salmon & Potato Pancakes
Ginger Latke & Sockeye Gravlox Napoleon with Spicy Mustard Cream & Capers
I came across a recipe for latke (potato pancakes) written by one of my Jewish friend's grandmother in my stacks of recipe folders. It's a very simple dish but it makes the most delicious and moist latke I've ever had. Of course I had to change it a little bit because I'm a control freak and need to make everything my own. I decided to give it a slightly Asian kick by adding minced ginger and a shot of chili garlic paste. It turned out really great. I like the Jewish/Asian twist of this dish. That's not a combination you tend to hear about but it works beautifully. I had some sockeye salmon gravlox in my freezer from a little bit ago and knew it would be perfect on the latkes. You can stack it as high as you want but just remember that most people don't really like eating food off of their clothes or the floor.
1 (1-2lb) sockeye salmon fillet, skin on, pinbones removed (you can use any salmon you like, just make sure it's fresh)
2 cups kosher salt
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp cracked black pepper
2 fl oz fresh lemon juice
2 fl oz gin (I use Bombay Sapphire but any premium gin will work)
1 bunch fresh basil, chopped (you can also use cilantro, dill, parsley, etc...)
cheesecloth & a large perforated pan (holes for straining)
Place the salmon skin side down on a large piece of cheesecloth. Gently rub the flesh with the lemon juice and gin. Mix the salt, sugar, and pepper together to make the cure mixture. Place the cure mixture over the salmon evenly and completely covering it. Sprinkle the herbs over the cure mixture. Wrap the salmon loosely in the cheesecloth and place in the perforated pan cure side up. Place another flat pan on top of the salmon and cover with a 2-3 lb weight (potatos, a book, whatever). Place in the refrigerator with a pan underneath the perforated pan to catch the juices. Let the salmon cure for 3 days (leave it alone for 3 days!). On the 3rd day gently scrape off the cure and slice paper thin to eat. It will last in your fridge for another week or you can wrap it air tight and freeze it.
Ginger Latke with Mustard Cream and Capers
2 large russet potatoes
1 shallot, minced
2 scallions, sliced (leave a little of the greens for garnish)
1/2 Tbsp ginger, minced
2 tsp chili garlic paste (or substitute 2 garlic cloves and 1 small chili, minced)
1/2 cup flour
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1 tsp Chinese prepared mustard
1/2 cup sour cream
Wash and peel the potatoes. Grate the potatoes into medium long shreds. I use the large holes on a box grater and that works well. Keep the grated potato in bowl of cold water so they don't oxidize. When you're done, drain the potatoes and dry them with a towel to remove most of the moisture. Mix all of the ingredients (not the mustard, sour cream, & capers) in a large bowl until everything is well incorporated. In a large non-stick saute pan over medium high heat add a little bit of canola oil. Place a spoonful of the latke mixture in the pan and flatten it out. It should be about 3" round and 1/2" thick. You should be able to get about 4 of them going in a pan at the same time. Cook for about 4-5 minutes each side until golden brown. Let them degrease on some paper towels. Add a little more oil to the pan for the next batch if you need to.
For the mustard cream just mix the mustard and the sour cream. Simple and tasty!
To assemble the Napoleon, place a latke on the plate. Place a layer of gravlox on top of the latke. Repeat. I think three layers is perfect. Spoon some of the cream on the plate and garnish with sprinkling of scallion and capers. Eat.