This is our first-year home for Pesach in a really long time, and if I'm being honest I’m pretty thrilled about it. There are only a few things I will really miss and that includes the hotel breakfast.
There's something about getting up semi early in the morning and having a whole bunch of beautiful set-up cheeses, yogurts, cheesecakes, fruits and salads ready to be served. It's one of the best parts of being in a hotel for Pesach - well that and the fact that you never have to clear the table.
So, this year, one of my four questions was asking my husband if we could have something similar set up in our own home. No, I don’t think I’ll be getting up before everyone else to serve platters of cheese, not even close. It's not even worth thinking about. BUT there is nothing wrong with preparing giant jugs of uber cold Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice (or mimosas) along with pre-wrapped boards of cheeses, cream cheeses, fruit and assorted yogurts so people can grab and go as they see fit.
If I'm being honest here though, the part I get most excited for are the incredible boards of gravlax that show up at hotel breakfasts. What is this gravlax word- this intimidating sounding thing i just threw out there? It's really just salmon that is cured with a salt and sugar mixture along with a bunch of spices and pressed for a couple of days in the fridge to make this excellently concentrated, lighter than lox-like dish. The color of the salmon gets so bright and beautiful, it's one of the most striking things you can put on your table. Gravlax is a super easy dish to make on your own. Unlike lox which is cold smoked, gravlax is cured in a mixture of sugar, salt and spices to make an incredibly flavorful concentrated slice of fish. I sort of feel like it’s a Jewish person's right of passage to make and eat it all ofthe time. The fact that it's so super easy to make helps.
While I have been known to eat chunks of gravlax plain, it pairs so well with cream cheese, capers, dill and thin slices of red onion and cucumber over matzo that you'll wonder why you don't have this year-round.
I have a whole bunch of different flavors for gravlax that I love to make but the one I am going to share with you all is one of my favorites so far. It uses Tropicana Pure Premium orange juice which is Kosher for Pesach and year round! The bright citrus flavor works so well with the coriander and dill. It is refreshing and delicious and a perfect foil for the natural fattiness of the salmon. I could probably go on and on about the wonder of gravlax paired with Tropicana, , but Pesach is coming and we both have better things to do. Here’s the recipe everyone! Chag Kasher V’Sameach!
FYI this recipe must be prepared 48 hours in advance, but once it's done you can go ahead and freeze it for about 3 months.
When sourcing fresh fish, go to someone you trust for a quality, uber fresh piece of salmon-and make sure to double check that you’re buying sashimi-grade. If you can’t get started on it right away stick it into the freezer asap but do not refreeze after making it, andeat it as soon as possible.
Gravlax (serves approx. 12)
3 tbsp kosher salt
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp white pepper
1 orange zest
1 tbsp vodka
1 side ofsashimi-gradesalmon (roughly 1.5lbs)
1 bunch dill
To prepare the salmon, remove all pin bones, remove silver skin at the bottom if desired- it makes it easier to cut.
Soak salmon in cool salt water for 10 minutes. This kills bacteria and begins the curing process Dry.
Mix salt, sugar, coriander, white pepper, and orange zest with the orange juice and vodka to form a paste.
In a pan lay half the dill leaves. Sprinkle skin of salmon with half the salt mixture. Lay skin side down over the dill. Sprinkle the salmon with the remaining mixture. Lay the rest of the dill over the salmon.
Cover with a plastic wrap, top with a plate and a can or heavy container to press the moisture out of the salmon, and refrigerate.
After 24 hours flip the salmon so it's skin side up and re-cover with plastic wrap. You may also pour off excess liquid at this time.
After 48 hours, open the wrap, discard the dill. Pat the salmon dry and slice paper thin to serve.
Store wrapped in paper towels in a zip top bag.
Nutrition Facts per serving(Please note that these nutritionals are for the Gravlax only - you may customize your toppings / how you choose to enjoy gravlax, but this will alter the nutritionals)
Total Fat: 3.2g
Saturated Fat: 0.5g
Monounsaturated Fat: 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.4g
Trans Fat: 0g
Total Carbohydrates: 2.7g
Dietary Fiber: 0.1g
Total Sugar: 2.4g
Added sugar: 2g
Vitamin D: 5 mcg (25% DV)
Calcium: 6mg (0% DV)
Iron: 0.4mg (2% DV)
Potassium: 277mg (6% DV)
This post is sponsored by Tropicana and all opinions are my own