Friday, May 19, 2017

Gravlax and Homemade Cream Cheese

People are often intimidated when dealing with raw fish, but this gravlax recipe is so simple to do, and the best part is, is that it needs to be made in advance which is always a plus when prepping a lot of food and the final result will really impress your friends and family!
Gravlax is salmon that has been cured with sugar, salt, and dill. These few ingredients create one remarkable appetizer. 
Serve the thinly sliced gravlax on Shavuot with crème fraîche or mustard sauce. Enjoy the leftovers on some toasted challah with easy to make homemade cream cheese. Another great thing about this recipe is that all the ingredients can be found at Seasons


2 tsp whole black peppercorns 
1/2 cup kosher salt 
1 cup sugar 
1 cup fresh dill, roughly chopped 

Place a kitchen towel on the counter and place the peppercorns on it then fold the towel over the peppercorns. With a heavy bottomed skillet crush the peppercorns until they are very coarsely ground.
Mix the crushed peppercorns with salt, and sugar. 
Make a few slits in the skin of the salmon. 
Place a large piece of plastic wrap on the counter and sprinkle with half of the dill. 
Rub 1/3 of the spice mixture over the skin of the salmon and place on top of the dill. Press the rest of the spices into the flesh of the salmon and top with the rest of the dill. Tightly wrap the salmon in a few layers of plastic wrap and place in a baking dish. Place a plate on top of the wrapped salmon and 2 few heavy cans to weigh it down. Refrigerate the salmon for 2 days to allow the salmon to cure properly. 

When salmon is ready carefully unwrap the salmon and scrape off the dill and spices. Thinly slice on a bias and serve with crackers and or crème fraîche or homemade cream cheese. 
Homemade Cream Cheese 

I got this recipe from my cousin when I moved to Israel and saw the price of store bought cream cheese. This cream cheese is everything cream cheese should be, rich, creamy, and downright decadent.
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

Mix together the sour cream, sugar, and salt.
Place a strainer in a bowl making sure that the strainer isn't touching the bottom of the bowl. Line the strainer with a few layers of cheesecloth or a clean dish towel.
Pour the sour cream mixture into the towel. Bring up the corners of the towel and tie with a rubber band.
Place the bowl in the fridge and let the sour cream drain overnight.
Remove the rubber band and stare in awe of the beauty of homemade cream cheese. Place the cream cheese in another bowl and enjoy just like this or mix in any of your favorite cream cheese mix-ins like dill, chives, scallions, chopped lox...

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