I have now been in Norway for nine days. It’s part of my whole new year new me thing. I decided to do new country, new job just so I could excuse myself from setting proper new year resolutions. With this new life comes: new language, new flat, new furniture, new friends, new gym, new bakeries and cafes. It’s cool, I’m not overwhelmed. My body isn’t reacting negatively with breakouts on my face and eczema flare-ups and stomach bloating. It’s cool. I’m fine.
No, but seriously. Despite what my body is telling me, the move has been good as I’ve come here for all the right reasons. There have been some panic-inducing grocery prices (like a €15 mango *gasp*) and mind-boggling lunchtimes (11am, but 10:30 is socially acceptable) which are slightly difficult to accept. But overall, I’m happy. I’m in a much better place than I was in January 2019. And 11am lunchtimes mean I’m having dinner at 5 and going to bed at 9. Which is healthier right? #adultingpoints
I was preparing myself mentally for the move with this dish, which was my contribution to our Christmas table in Italy. I like my gravlax quite simply cured and not cured for so long. I did it for 36 hours, but if you want it firmer and bolder in taste you can do it for an additional 8-16 hours. This is served with a fennel remoulade/salad, which, as you can see from the quantities below, is really flavored to your liking.
So, happy new year, and hit me up if you visit Norway.
2x 500g salmon fillet, skin on, pin bones removed and patted dry
85g caster sugar
85g sea salt
a bunch of dill, finely chopped
Zest of 2 oranges
2 fennel bulbs, sliced thinly (great if you can do this with a mandolin)
1 tbsp capers, finely chopped
2-3 tbsp mayonnaise
0.5-1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1-2 tsp honey
0.5-1 tbsp lemon juice
For the gravlax:
Mix together the sugar, salt, dill and orange zest.
Spread a thin layer of the mixture onto a shallow baking dish and lay on top one fillet of salmon skinside down. Spread a thick layer of the mixture on top of the salmon and then finally lay on the other salmon fillet, skinside up. Rub the remaining mixture on top.
Place a layer of clingfilm on top and place something heavy on it – pots, tins. Leave in the fridge for 36-48 hours, turning it every 8-10 hours. I like it cured for around 36 hours.
When ready to serve, rinse the cure off the fish, you don’t have to do it so thoroughly as it’s nice to have some dill and zest on the fish. Slice and serve with remoulade
Whisk together the mayonnaise, capers, mustard, honey and lemon juice. Taste and adjust amounts to your liking. I don’t like it too mayonnaise-heavy, and I prefer it slightly sweeter.
Mix together with the fennel, and season with some salt and pepper.