This dish always makes me think of the rugged North Atlantic Coast, thick woolen sweaters, and old tobacco pipes smoldering over mended nets. Of heavy night winds, wooden boats and superstitions of the sea. It's deliciousness and simplicity is unparalleled.
Traditionally gravlax is made with salmon (lax = salmon in Swedish) but here we substituted wild Steelhead trout from Lake Michigan. It is uncooked and salt cured fish. Salt draws out the water from the fish which delays spoilage and takes four days to finish. Here's how it goes:
2 large oily fish fillets
1/3 cup sea salt
1/4 cup maple sugar
1 tbsp rosemary (dried)
1 tbsp ground black pepper
Mix spices, sugar and herbs well. Spread evenly over the flesh exposed side of one fillet in a glass or ceramic dish.
Once evenly spread over fillet, lay other fillet on top, thick side over thin side.
Place foil over the top and a book or pan to evenly distribute weight. Add around 5lbs of weight and refrigerate. After 24 hrs remove from fridge, remove weight and foil and drain liquids. Add the foil and weight again and refrigerate. Repeat this process every 24 hrs for 4 days, although it seems that by the 2 or 3rd day there is little to no liquid to pour off. Once that 4th day is reached its ready to consume. It can store in the fridge for around 2-3 weeks. I enjoyed mine on rye cracker with organic cream cheese, salmon caviar and chive flowers.
Of course I had to wear my cable-knit Norwegian wool sweater and clean my fishing nets while eating this. And finish it off with a bowl of Burley tobacco from my Peterson pipe. Seriously man, we gotta be authentic about this.