Curing the supper blues

The salmon had been sitting in our dish cabinet for 48 hours before my wife and I decided to dig in. The room temperature fish was delicious, it was unlike anything we’d ever tasted. And considering neither one of us spent the night hugging the toilet, the recipe we followed apparently worked. Ah, there’s a recipe, you say, so you must have baked the stuff or grilled it our used fire in some fashion at some point. Nope. We curried cured the nearly 2 pounds of pink flesh.

The recipe came from my recently purchased cookbook “Home Made.” It calls from two sides of salmon (we only used a half a side) lots of sugar and salt, dill, and some Absinth, yes the mystical booze the lost generation got plastered on in Paris, kind of. The Absinth we get in the states is just grain alcohol distilled with a ton of botanicals. There is no mind-altering wormwood in the stuff. Even so, watching the clear liquor turn to a cloudy green when you add just enough water is mesmerizing.

But at 136 proof, the stuff is potent to say the least. Anyway.

Jamey and I spent Monday evening rubbing the sugar and salt mixture on two giant fillets. We put one skin side down in a Pyrex dish, covered it with fresh dill, then lying the other fillet on top of it. A generous portion of the Absinth was poured before the whole thing wrapped in plastic wrap. (A note if you are following this as a recipe for whatever reason, the plastic wrap goes into the dish before anything else happens.) Then we put a plate on top of the plastic and two cans on top of the plate to squeeze the fish together.

Two days later we had delicious, almost candied treat. We put it on a plate, covered it with spicy greens, and plopped a dab of horseradish next to it for dipping dug in.

As I said before, it was delicious, it was also one of the most expensive fish dishes we’ve ever cooked, mainly thanks to the cost of the medium bottle of Absinth. But we didn’t use all the booze, so maybe we’ll do the whole dish again.

This Cajun chump over at the Food Network has a similar recipe, but he refrigerates it. I’m guessing the lawyers make them add that. I doubt keeping it in the fridge makes it lose any flavor, and if you are one of those people who won’t eat raw sushi or a steak with any dark pink in it because of fear if food poisoning, then go ahead, take up valuable refrigerator real estate.

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