Gin and Ginger Salmon with Cucumber, Coconut Labne and Caviar

Recipe courtesy Brad Farmerie, Executive Chef of Double Crown and Public
TOTAL TIME: 120 hr 30 min
Prep: 30 min
Inactive Prep: 120 hr
Cook: --
YIELD: 8 to 10 servings (plus leftovers)
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

  • 1 side salmon, skin on and bones removed
  • 11 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 10 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2/3 cup sliced shallots
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, finely sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cinnamon stick, lightly crushed
  • 1/2 thumb fresh ginger, finely sliced
  • 2 lemon peels, white pith removed
  • 1 lime peel, white pith removed
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1 teaspoon juniper berries, crushed
  • 1 teaspoons cubeb (or black peppercorns), lightly crushed
  • 2 ounces or 1/4 cup gin
  • Coconut Labne, recipe follows
  • Caviar, as necessary, for garnish
  • TO SERVE:
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • Pickled goji berries
    • Toasted bread, as needed
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    Directions

    Lightly cut or score the salmon on the skin side at 1-inch intervals. In a small bowl, mix the salt and sugar together. With about 2 tablespoons of the salt and sugar mixture, spread a thin layer on both sides of the salmon. Set the salmon aside. In a large bowl combine the cilantro, shallots, fennel, parsley, cinnamon stick, ginger, lemon peels, lime peel, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, juniper berries, cubeb, gin and the remaining salt and sugar, and mix thoroughly. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes after which it will become wet and pliable. Cover the flesh side of the salmon with this mixture and pack it on tightly, leaving some mixture left over. Place the remainder of the mixture in a plastic container and the place the salmon skin-side down on top of it and put in the refrigerator.

    Flip the salmon every day for 5 days so that it cures evenly. After 5 days, remove all the marinade and pat dry. Slice the salmon as thinly as possible just before serving.

    Coconut Labne
    1 cup Greek yogurt
    3 tablespoons Thai coconut cream powder*
    *Can be found at specialty Asian markets and on the web.

    In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt and coconut cream powder, and stir to combine. Line a colander or sieve with cheesecloth or a clean towel, and pour the mixture in. Place the sieve or colander over a bowl to catch any of the moisture that drains out and place in the refrigerator for 12 hours. Remove the labne (strained yogurt) from the towel, place in an airtight container, and refrigerate until needed.

    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Inactive Prep Time: 12 hours
    Ease of preparation: easy

    To serve: Place thinly sliced salmon onto the plate and drizzle with olive oil and season with a little freshly ground black pepper to taste. Put thin slices of cucumber and some cilantro in a mixing bowl, season with salt, and pepper, to taste and dress with a little vinegar.

    Top the toast bread slices with some Coconut Labne, sliced salmon, a small mound of cucumber, a few pickled goji berries, and garnish with caviar.

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