Salmon from the grave (gravlax)

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Something that we Swedes eat for pretty much every holiday is cured salmon, or as we call it – gravlax (salmon from the grave). It got it name from the fact that fishermen used to ferment it by burying fish in the sand by the high-tide line for a while (probably flavoured by some brackish Baltic sea water) but I promise you, it works just as well to make it in a plastic bag in your fridge.

The taste is similar to smoked salmon but with a slightly different consistency (it kind of melts in your mouth!). It’s quite expensive to buy pre-made and believe it or not – dead easy to make at home! All you need is:

1 filet of pre-frozen salmon (buy it previously frozen or have it in the freezer and then de-frost before you make it)

1 large ziploc plastic bag

Per 1kg salmon:

  • 3 tbs salt
  • 3 tbs sugar
  • 1½ tsp white pepper corns
  • 150 ml chopped fresh dill

Mix the salt, sugar and ground pepper corns in a bowl.

spread the mix out evenly on two pieces of salmon filet (I kind of rubbed it in a little too).

Add the chopped dill on top and press the two filet pieces together.

Put the whole package in a sealed plastic bag and let sit in the fridge for 3 days. make sure to flip the package half way through so that everything gets evenly cured.

The picture below is from the original recipe where they did it between two plates instead of in a bag:

Gravad lax

Once the 3 days have passed, take your filets out and scrape off the dill & pepper (you could wash it lightly if you want to make it a little less salty). Finish by cutting thin slices along the fish like in the picture.

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Serve rolled up like little roses to get the perfect midsummer smörgåsbord:

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Strawberry midsummer cake

Celebrating midsummer requires a good strawberry cake, and this year I decided to invent my own. It has a touch of marzipan, rhubarbs and ginger, but besides that a classic recipie.

To begin with, you need to make the filling (which is kind of like making jam).

I chopped strawberries, rhubarb and fresh ginger into little cubes, covered them with white sugar and boiled them at a low heat for about 40 min until the jam was soft and gooey but not too rinny (it will solidify more once it cools off). Let the jam cool completely before putting it into the cake.

For the cake you will need:

  • 4 eggs
  • 100 g grated marzipan/almond paste
  • 150 g butter (half melted, soft but not rinny)
  • 100 ml sugar
  • 200 ml flour
  • 50 ml milk
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp vanilla sugar
Mix all the ingredients to a smooth paste and pour into a buttered and breaded cake pan and bake in the middle of the oven at 200ºC for about 30 min. Stick a toothpick/fork into it to make sure it’s not rinny insde before you take it out.
Once the cake is baked, follow instructions through the pictures below :).

Ready to be baked in the oven

Cut the cake into two halves

 

spread the jam evenly across the bottom slice.

Put the lid on

cover the cake with whipped cream and sliced strawberries

Ready to serve!