There are two ways I like to cure salmon. One is a quick cure, takes like an hour, and the other is a longer cure that takes a week. The rub, or dry mixture, is my brother Dave's. He spent years tweaking it, and I've stolen it here in 20 seconds.
I had to do a quick cure tonight because we were having Grandpa and Ruth over for dinner. These two older folk tend to run on the late side (GPS wasn't working, they've moved the streets--again!) and the kids wanted an appetizer since they had to wait for dinner.
This is truly amazing stuff. And easy. Don't forget good for you. All those healthy fish oils, you'll have a glossy coat and a wet nose in no time.
Quick Cure Salmon
Get a smack of salmon (how it sounds when you slap it on the counter--don't measure, listen).
Slice the salmon smack thin-ish. If you can read through it, it's too thin
Mix lots of brown sugar and kosher salt in a bowl--more brown sugar than
Rough chop a hank* of fresh dill (splash out, buy fresh) and toss it in the dry mixture
Take a cookie sheet and cover the bottom with the sugar/salt/dill like a little beach
Lay the little salmon slabs across the rub
Bury them now with the rest of the dry mixture (not like the beach, don't leave their heads sticking out) BURY
Set another cookie sheet on top of this and weight it real good (don't stand on it, tempting, I know)
The idea is to draw the moisture out of the fish, both with the dry mix and the weight
After an hour or two, rinse the slippery little slabs carefully in the sink
Serve with crackers, capers, your favorite cheese (mine's Parrano--Dutch cheese with an Italian name, get it at Trader Joe's, holla!) sliced salted and peppered tomatoes
*hank--to clasp, grab. Ever had your hair pulled? As in, "My sister pulled out a hank of my hair." It's from Old Norse, spoken in Scandinavia way back in the day, and since salmon curing is oh-so- Scandinavian it is awarded a Perfect Word!
Long Cure Salmon
Leave the salmon in a smack, mind use a filet, not a steak (steak has bones and is shaped like a U)
Same rub, same plan, same pans
Weight it in the fridge and leave it for a week
Every few days, pour off the liquid that's squeezed out or you'll end up with a sticky mess in your fridge
Slice and eat at it for weeks!
I like to do a whole side of salmon this way. It's phenomenal and kids love it. Picture this: in bed, dog curled at your side, a fantastic book (preferably a mystery!) salmon, crackers and cheese on a plate on the nightstand, house to yourself, ahhh.