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A Swedish Traditional Meal
As Eva Morrill, from Knivsta, Sweden, taught Lindsay Sterling
in Portland, ME, Nov. 2010
Active time: 1 hr
Total time: 2 days!
Serves 10 for dinner, more as an appetizer


Home-Cured Salmon
1 whole side of salmon
1/2 cup Sugar in the Raw (she used Demerara)
1/2 cup coarse salt (she used Mediterranean sea salt)
1 Tbsp crushed white pepper
½ bunch dill
Start two days before you want to eat. Mix your curing spices (salt, sugar and pepper) together in a bowl. Put the fillet skin side down on a cutting board and cut crosswise into two roughly equal pieces. Pack curing spices onto all the pink flesh with your hands, and then put dill fronds on top of each piece. Put one piece of fish skin side down inside a Ziploc or plastic bag that will hold the liquid that the salt will draw out of the fish over time. Now place the other piece of salmon on top of the first so you have a salmon sandwich with the skins on the outside, flesh on the inside and the dill and curing spices in the middle. Close the bag, and enclose that bag in another so you save your fridge from salmon juice run-off. The next day, flip the fish over. Give it one more day and it’s cured! (See "Bringing it all Together" below for rinsing and slicing directions.)


Potatoes Au Gratin
2 cups whole milk
Dash fresh cracked pepper (she likes mixed varieties)
Dash salt
1 ¾ pounds potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly (she used a Cuisinart attachment)
1 ½ cups roughly chopped leeks (about 1 medium leek)
2-3 cups mixed grated cheese of your choice
Preheat oven to 400. In large pot on medium high heat, heat milk, add pepper and salt, and potatoes. Cook with lid on, stirring occasionally to prevent the potatoes from sticking, lowering temp if necessary to prevent the milk from boiling over. Once the milk has thickened (about ten minutes), stir in leeks and cheese. Generously butter a shallow ovenproof casserole dish, transfer potatoes into it, and cook in the oven 35-40 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned on top.

Mustard Vinaigrette
4 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
½ c. olive oil
1 Tbsp dried dill
In a small mixing bowl combine mustard, sugar, and vinegar. Pour olive oil into the mixture in a slow stream while whisking it in so that the mixture becomes a thick, cloudy dressing as opposed to the much looser, liquid-y oil and vinegar.

Sautéed Spinach
Olive Oil

Bringing it All Together
1. Take the salmon out of the fridge and discard the liquid and plastic bags. Rinse each piece in cold water, gently pat dry, and place on cutting board. Starting with the thick end, slice salmon into thin slices crosswise and on a diagonal. This allows you to get the biggest, most beautiful slices. The best knife to use is called a salmon slicer. It’s long and thin with shallow divots milled into the sides to keep food from sticking to the blade. If you don’t have this, you are a very special person if you can figure out how to get beautiful slices. Your home cooking is beautiful no matter what it looks like.

2. Sauté spinach with just enough olive oil to give it some shine and keep it from sticking to the pan. It’s done quickly – as soon as its dark green and small.

3. Put a scoop of potatoes on each plate, a couple spoonfuls of vinaigrette next to it, a small pile of spinach next to that and then 5 or 6 gorgeous (or not so gorgeous!) slices of salmon.
4. Cheers – to being alive and having each other. You could not exist you know.

Who Knew What You Can Do? (Extra Notes)
You can freeze cured salmon. It keeps fine in the fridge for about a week, and in the freezer for about 3 months. Before freezing, cut your sides into sizes you want to use later so you’re not freezing and thawing a large piece over and over. Wrap smaller pieces individually and seal all in larger Ziploc, sucking out the air.
You can freeze fresh dill! She Used frozen fresh dill to sandwich in between the salmon for curing and it worked great. How many times have I thrown extra dill away? Sheesh. Now I know! Go ahead and freeze it for using in curing, making dressings or cooking.
You can make the potatoes and dressing a couple days before when you cure the salmon so your day of the meal is pretty darn carefree. All you have to do then is reheat the potatoes, sauté the spinach and slice the salmon. No biggie!
You can serve the cured salmon as an appetizer on top of buttered slices of German rye bead, topped with teaspoon of mustard vinaigrette.

I would love to hear from you! Please email with comments, questions, suggestions... lindsay@lindsaysterling.com

Copyright Lindsay Sterling 2010