Marin Arts & Culture May 2017 - Page 23

Cuisine Lox of Love By Katharine Browning A s winter recedes into a memory and blossoms awaken dormant foliage, our thoughts on food turn to lighter, more outdoorsy and party-friendly fare. Something my clients often request this time of year when they entertain is my lox platter. It is surprisingly easy and looks very impressive on a table with all the accouterments, like bagels, cream cheese, capers, sliced red onion and dill sprigs. Here’s a little primer on the differences between lox, gravlax, and smoked salmon. Smoked salmon is essentially a blanket term for any salmon: farmed, wild-caught, fillet, steak and hot or cold smoked. Gravlax is of Nordic origin and is cured in a mixture of salt, sugar and dill. Our recipe today is for lox, simply the flesh of a salmon cured in a plain salt-and-sugar rub without the dill. I think it is the easiest method as well as the tastiest. You can always serve dill on the side for those who like it (I don’t) along with all the other choices on the display table. It also makes it easier to pair with wine, as dill often clashes with many varietals. I add a bit of loose English Breakfast tea for an added dimension and some slight smokiness. Please do try and find line- caught fish, not farmed, for this dish. Farmed salmon just doesn’t measure up and this is where spending the extra dollars per pound will really make all the difference. break some bags into the mixture if that is all you have; you don’t have to purchase it loose. Recipe and Technique: You will also need: Curing mix for lox: A plastic Ziploc bag large enough to hold salmon without folding the flesh.   1 cup regular sugar 3/4 cup kosher salt 2 tbsp loose English Breakfast tea. The tea is optional, and you can just This is enough to coat one pound of salmon. If you buy more than one pound, just double or triple the recipe. It is pretty forgiving. Enough cheesecloth (new or washed in unscented detergent only) to wrap the fish securely. > MARIN ARTS & CULTURE 23