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TIP OF THE DAY: Sustainable Eating Helps All Of Us

Black Bean Burger

Sustainable Seafood

Malaysian Palm Oil

Organic Cayenne McCormick

[1] Black bean burger: Add your favorite condiments garnishes and you’ll love it (here’s the recipe Urban Accents). [2] “Trash fish” look and taste just as good as the big-name fish—for as fraction of the price (photo courtesy Chef Barton Seaver, author of this sustainable fish cookbook). [3] Hello, Malaysian palm oil; buh-bye, canola oil (photo courtesy Food Navigator). [4] Buy the 4-5 spices you use most often in organic versions (photo courtesy McCormick).

 

You may have successfully conquered the first week of “good eating” in the new year. Congrats!

Now, can we twist your arm abut eating more sustainably?

Here are recommendations from Chef Gerard Viverito, Director of Culinary Education for Passionfish, a NGO non-profit organization dedicated to educating people around the globe on the issue of sustainability in the seas.
 
HOW TO EAT MORE SUSTAINABLY

1. Eat Less Meat & More Beans.

Beans, lentils and other legumes are called “nitrogen “fixers.” They convert inert gas from the atmosphere into the type of ammonia needed for plant food, reducing the need to use as much synthetic nitrogen fertilizer.

Livestock is a major driver of deforestation and loss of biodiversity. Livestock requires about 3.9 billion hectares of land for grazing and to produce animal feed. That’s an area that’s five times larger than Australia.

Deforestation means fewer trees to absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. Livestock emissions, including manure and digestive gas, contribute more greenhouse gas to the atmosphere than automobile emissions.

Meatless Mondays is an idea that should evolve into Vegan Mondays. If you’re eating cheese and ice cream, it’s still part of the problem.

With all the delicious vegan choices—including hearty vegetable stews, pasta, pizza and vegetarian chili—you won’t suffer one day a week. You may even discover new favorite dishes!

Check out 16 main course bean dishes from Saveur.
 
2. Buy wild-caught U.S. seafood.

Yes, it can be more costly than other options, but American fisheries have some of the most stringent ecological rules in the world (and, might we add, health rules—no melamine in your shrimp).

If we ate what the oceans were sustainably supplying instead of insisting on only a few well-known fish species, we would further cut down on over-fishing our waters.

Be open to sampling different fish species. The new trend among top chefs is trash fish, a.k.a. rough fish.

What are trash fish?

Trash fish are those that travel in schools with more desirable fish, and are often landed as by-catch. Because they don’t have the marketing demand of other fish and thus only command a fraction of the price, fishermen would toss them overboard (trash them) as not worth the effort of processing.

There is no standard list of trash fish. A fish that is considered trash in one region may be treasure in another. For example, the common carp is considered undesirable in the U.S. and Australia, but is the premier game fish of Europe and the most valuable food fish across most of Asia. Ask your fishmonger what’s available in your area.

Just because you haven’t heard of something or it sounds weird, don’t pass it by. Dogfish travel in schools with flounder, hake and pollock, three of which have marketing value while the other is in the doghouse.

In the U.S., 91% of all seafood consumed comes from outside the country. More than two-thirds of all seafood we eat comprises shrimp, salmon, tilapia (almost all farm-raised under dubious conditions) or canned tuna. The oceans offer a wealth of tasty fish, and we only eat four of them.

Don’t walk away from banded rudderfish, barrel fish, bearded brotula, lionfish, southern stingray, squirrelfish and other strange names. If they didn’t taste good, they wouldn’t be for sale. Here’s more about trash fish.

There’s even a sustainable fish cookbook—the first of many, no doubt.

 
3. Use a sustainable cooking oil.

It doesn’t make sense to buy healthy, sustainable foods and then cook them with oils made from genetically modified plants.

Try the buttery Malaysian palm oil, which is natural and sustainably produced. Because it has a high smoke point, Malaysian palm oil can be used for grilling, baking and frying without burning and making food taste bad.

All palm oil is non-GMO, which may be why it’s more affordable than the popular but non-GMO canola oil.

Note: Be sure it’s Malaysian palm oil. The Malaysian government has commented to growing and processing.

 

4. Upgrade your favorite spices to organic.

The use of chemical fertilizers and plant pesticides is a growing concern in the spice industry. But organic spices and herbs can be pricey, so invest in organic only for those that you use all the time.

McCormick sells more than 22 organic herbs and spices—just about anything you need regularly, including vanilla extract.

Here’s another money-saving tip: Whole ginger root is a fraction of the price of powdered. Buy a root and cut into 1-inch cubes then toss them into the freezer. Grate a cube whenever a recipe calls for this fragrant spice.
 
5. Eat more leafy greens, and find more fun preparations.

Kale, spinach and other leafy greens grow quickly in most climates. This means they have a lower impact on our environment and may require less fertilizer than slower growing veggies.

Up the kid-friendliness of these greens by making tasty oven-fried veggie chips. Drizzle oil (Malaysian sustainable palm oil, of course) over the greens, sprinkle with salt or other seasonings and then bake in a 350°F oven until slightly brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Eat the crispy veggies for snacks, as pizza and pasta toppings, add to omelets, etc.

This great microwave tray from Mastrad lets you make chips in two minutes! We stack them 3-4 trays high for the most chips in the shortest time.

And of course, there are many, many luscious recipes for leafy greens. All you need to do is look online.
 
6. Look for “grass-fed,” “organic” or “pasture-raised” beef.

To come full circle from the first tip, raising livestock takes a big toll on our environment. It uses more than 70% of our agricultural land and is the largest driver of deforestation (which enables greenhouse gases) in the world.

 

Bake-Fry Spinach Leaves

[5] Eat more leafy greens: They grow more quickly (photo courtesy Hungry Couple). [6] Enjoy meat, but in smaller portions.

 
But that doesn’t mean you have to give up meat if you want to eat sustainably. Just choose quality over quantity. When cooking, combine meat with healthy plant-based foods. Throw some black beans into ground beef when making tacos or combine chicken with quinoa when making a casserole.

Eat as they do in the rest of the world: smaller portions of meat, larger portions of grains and vegetables.
 

THANKS FOR HELPING

Adopting even one of these six ideas will make an impact.

  

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TIP OF THE DAY: Eat More Fish With Sashimi Salad

If you want to eat more fish but don’t like cooking it, here’s an easy idea: sashimi salad.

Just toss sliced fish over greens.

Instead of opening a can or searing the fish tataki-style (briefly seared), sashimi salad is an easy alternative.

A decade ago one of our favorite neighborhood sushi bars closed, taking with it one of our favorite foods, “marinated salmon”—was a mesclun salad with onions dressed in vinaigrette and topped with slices of salmon sashimi.

It was deliciousness, low in calories, and had eye appeal: a culinary home run. We had it several times a week.

When the restaurant was replaced by a cupcake parlor, we had to make it at home. Aside from fetching fresh salmon, it couldn’t have been easier.
 
 
1. SELECT YOUR FISH.

Ask for recommendations at the fish counter. The staff can also slice the salmon or tuna loins into sashimi-thickness slices.

The typical sashimi slice is 2 inches by 1/16 inch, but you can have them sliced longer and thicker as you prefer (longer is also better to drape over a mound of salad, as in photo # 2).

You can also consider the kaku-zukuri cut (“square slice”, photo #5) of 3/4-inch cubes (photos #1, #3 and #4).

The sashimi sold in sushi restaurants in North America is flash-frozen, whether it is local or flown in from elsewhere. It is thawed before preparation. You can purchase flash-frozen fish in your supermarket, slowly thaw it overnight in the fridge and eat it the next day.

You may also find live salmon and other varieties at Asian fish markets, where they can filet them for you.

 
2. PICK YOUR GREENS.

Are you in the mood for something more mild, like a mesclun mix; or a peppery arugula and watercress? A mixture is always a good idea.

If you like crunch, consider shredded cabbage (cole slaw mix).

We like onion in our salad. Japanese recipes use green onions (scallions); but you can add your allium of preference (the different types of onions).
 
 
3. ADD OTHER VEGETABLES & FRUITS.

Use whatever you have, or add whatever you like. We personally like:

  • Avocado
  • Baby beets
  • Blueberries and/or blackberries
  • Carrot curls
  • Cherry/grape tomatoes
  • Chinese vegetables: bamboo shoots, bok choy, napa cabbage, etc.
  • Diced honeydew
  • Edamame
  • Japanese pickles (oshinko and tsukemono, available online or at Asian food stores)
  • Lychees or rambutans
  • Mango or papaya
  • Orange or mandarin segments (particularly blood orange)
  • Radish slices, or shredded daikon (Japanese radish)
  • Seaweed salad or kimchi
  • Snow peas or sugar snap peas
  •    

    Sashimi Salad

    Sashimi Salad

    Sashimi Salad With Quinoa

    Sashimi Salad

    Square Cut Toro Sashimi

    [1] Mesclun with tuna cubes, at Kabuki Restaurants. [2] Conventional sashimi strips over a mounded salad, garnished with cherry tomatoes and tobacco, at Natsumi | NYC. [3] Double the nutrition: Sashimi salad over quinoa (or your whole grain of choice), at Sushi Samba. [4] Sashimi salad with wasabi & passionfruit dressing. Here’s the recipe from from Delicious | Australia. [5] kaku-zukuri, square-cut sushi; here, toro from Fish For Sushi.

     

    Shichimi Togarashi

    Nori Strips

    [6] Shichimi Togarashi, a blend of seven Japanese spices (photo courtesy Yahoo). [7] Nori strips, scissor-cut from nori sheets (photo courtesy Food Sharing With Little One).

     

    4. PICK YOUR DRESSING.

    Rice vinegar and/or lime juice with olive oil (and a splash of sesame oil if you have it) make an excellent basic vinaigrette for sashimi salad.

    You can also add salad oil to ponzu sauce.

    Here are some more-elaborate favorites:

  • Wasabi-passionfruit dressing.
  • Yuzu dressing.
  • Nobu’s sashimi salad dressing is simple: onion, rice vinegar, water, mustard and pinches of granulated sugar, sea salt and black pepper.
  • For something more lively, take a look at this mint cilantro vinaigrette.
  • This gluten-free ginger dressing uses tamari instead of soy sauce, plus green onions and a splash of sake.
  • If you like things spicy, check out spicy Korean sashimi salad, hwe dap bap, which uses gochujang, spicy red pepper paste.
  • Or, simply splash some sriracha into the vinaigrette. This fusion recipe combines soy sauce, olive oil, sesame oil, lime juice and sriracha.
  •  
     
    5. PICK YOUR GARNISH.

  • Citrus zest or julienned strips
  • Crispy Chinese noodle or wonton strips
  • Nori strips (photo #7)
  • Scallions, finely-sliceds
  • Sesame seeds—black, white, regular or toasted
  • Shichimi togarishi, Japanese spice blend (red chili pepper, orange peel, sesame seeds, Japanese pepper, ginger and seaweed)
  • Tobiko (flying fish roe), available in different colors (green, orange, red, yellow) and flavors, like wasabi tobiko
  •  
     
    6. BEVERAGE PAIRINGS

  • Green tea or black tea, hot or iced (but no milk and sugar in the black tea). We especially like Genmaicha, green tea with toasted rice that gives it a lovely, nutty; flavor.
  • Mineral water, especially sparkling with a high level of minerals.
  • Rosé, sparkling wine or white wine.
  • Sparkling water/club soda, plain or citrus-flavored.
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    GIFT OF THE DAY: Sturia Caviar, Farmed In France

    Sturia Caviar

    Sturia Caviar

    Sturia Caviar Types

    Sturia Caviar de Noel

    [1] While chefs use the caviar to add glamour to a wide variety of dishes, for us the most glamorous is to eat the caviar from the tin, with a glass of Champagne. [2] Caviar must be refrigerated, but we love the idea of a gift bag full of tins. [3] Three expressions of Sturia caviar. [4] The special holiday edition (photos courtesy Sturia).

     

    France is known for its haute cuisine and haute couture.

    But in some circles, it’s also known for its caviar. Sturia combines the two: fine caviar in stylish packaging.

    Sturia is the flagship brand of Sturgeon SCEA*, the leading French caviar producer. Established near Bordeaux 20 years ago, the company pioneered sturgeon farming in France. It sells its caviar all over the world.

    Farmed caviar, you say?

    THE RECENT HISTORY OF THE GREAT WILD STURGEON

    For those who haven’t followed the tipping point of beluga caviar, here it is:

    Overfishing, poaching, pollution, and damming of the rivers where the famed Baltic Sea and Caspian Sea sturgeon have bred for millions of years, drastically decreased the amount of caviar available, as world demand increased. Ninety percent of beluga sturgeons live in the Caspian Sea. In just 40 years, the beluga was at the brink of extinction.

    The other two Caspian sturgeons, the osetra and the sevruga, were also on the Endangered Species List. The species dates back to the Triassic period, some 245 to 208 million years ago.

    In January 2006, the countries that bordered these seas banded together to exclude exports (more).

    CAVIAR TODAY

    As a result, more than 20 years ago, caviar farms were set up to raise sturgeon in river environments all over the world, from Europe to South America to Asia.

    The result: osestra and white sturgeon caviar, sustainably produced. At 3,300 pounds, the beluga is too huge to farm. The white sturgeon, which can reach 1,799 pounds, and the 440-pound osetra sturgeon, are best for farming (see the different types of caviar).

    Sturgeon farming is a long, painstaking process.

  • After obtaining fry (newly hatched sturgeon), farmers have to wait 3 years before they can determine their sex. The young females are then farmed in ponds diverted from rivers, for approximately 8 years until they reach maturity.
  • At that point, an 8-year-old female sturgeon weighs about ten kilos and yields approximately 10% of her weight in caviar.
  • The eggs are harvested and lightly salted using the Russian Malossol method, which adds a small amount of salt as a preservative.
  •  
    The result: One of the most luxurious foods in the world.

    BUYING STURIA CAVIAR

    Depending on the level of sophistication of the recipient, Sturia guides you to which of their caviars you should consider.

    What particularly tickles us about Sturia is the packaging, in tins screened with art that we would happily display after the caviar is gone. (Or, repurpose them to as packaging for jewelry and other small gifts.)
     
     
    CAVIAR TRIVIA

  • Caviar is a seasonal product. The sturgeon are fished (the eggs are harvested) between September and March.
  • Like any agricultural product, caviar from the same sturgeon will have different nuances depending on the environment where it was raised (terroir).
  •  
    BRUSH UP ON CAVIAR

    Glossary of Caviar Terms

    Caviar Q & A

     
    ________________
    *SCEA refers to the civil farming company, or société civile d’exploitation agricole.

    †In fact, 85% of the 27 sturgeon species are at approaching extinction.

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Feast Of The Seven Fishes, Anchovies With Bread & Butter

    Anchovies, Bread & Butter

    White Anchovies

    White Anchovies

    Stirato, Italian Baguette

    [1] Nonna Menna’s buttered bread with anchovies (photo courtesy Giulia Scarpaleggia). [2] We substitute pimiento for the capers (photo courtesy La Tienda). [3] You can use anchovy filets in olive oil or boquerones, marinated filets turned white by the vinegar (photo courtesy La Tienda). [4] Stirato is the closed Italian bread to the French baguette (photo courtesy Them Apples).

     

    You don’t have to be of Italian descent to create the traditional Feast Of The Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve.

    We do it every year as a co-op event: Seven of us prepare the seven fish/seafood dishes, and the eighth makes dessert. (Note: With seven courses, the portions are smaller.)

    If you’re having a “regular” Christmas Eve party, set out the Feast Of The Seven Fishes as a buffet.

    We live near a good Italian bakery and can pick up stirato, the Italian bread closest to a baguette; but you can bake it yourself.

    Or buy baguettes!

    It’s a splendid feast, with opera playing in the background (or Christmas carols or Il Volo, if you prefer).

    For menu suggestions and a backgrounder on the holiday, check out our:

  • 2009 Feast Of The Seven Fishes
  • 2010 Feast Of The Seven Fishes
  • 2014 Feast Of The Seven Fishes
  • 2015 Feast Of The Seven Fishes
  •  
    RECIPE #1: OUR 2016 APPETIZER

    As we sit around the sofa with bottles of wine, warming up for the main meal, we’re having a bread and butter with anchovies, inspired by the Tuscan grandmother of food writer Giulia Scarpaleggia. Nonna Menna added capers as well.

    “Just use quality ingredients,” says Giulia, “because there are no tricks nor deceits!” You can even…
     
    HAVE A TASTING, COMPARING THE DIFFERENT BRANDS

    Butter. Our go-to butters are from Cabot’s and Vermont Creamery, but we’ll add Kerrygold, Organic Valley and Plugrá. If we had more capacity, we’d test Breakstone and Land o’ Lakes as well.

    Anchovies. We are happy with Cento, an inexpensive brand available at supermarkets, Trader Joe’s and elsewhere. We can also find Ortiz and Roland in our neighborhood, and are ordering some fancy brands online. (There are no fresh anchovies in our markets now.)

    Capers. Instead of Nonna’s capers, we’re using pimiento, a wonderful pairing with anchovies, with a garnish of chopped parsley. If we have time, we’ll add some lemon zest and garlic, or gremolata.
     
    PUTTING IT TOGETHER

    The recipe is a no-brainer, but here’s how we’re serving it:

    Place all the ingredients on the table and let people butter and top their own.
     
    Ingredients & Preparation

  • A basket of sliced plain striate and a basket of toasted slices (substitute baguette for stirato).
  • Unsalted butter, softened in ramekins, served blind with butter spreaders. A number written on each ramekin with a china marker, and revealed at the end of the course.
  • Anchovies in oil, drained and piled into shallow bowls or small plates, with appetizer/cocktail forks for serving.
  • Pimiento (sweet red pepper) strips.
  • Fresh minced parsley, in a ramekin with an espresso spoon (because what’s a fish course without fresh herbs).
  •  
    Variations

  • Replace the anchovies butter or sardine butter, a compound butter you can throw together.
  • Mash 1 cup of softened, unsalted butter with 1/2 cup mashed anchovies or sardines.
  • You can substitute anchovy paste, but it’s typically made with the cheapest anchovies, and very salty.
  •  

    RECIPE #2: FRUTTI DI MARE FIRST COURSE

    Frutti di mare, “fruits of the sea” in Italian, is the name of a dish made of different seafood on the coasts of Italy.

    Frutti di mare literally means “fruits of the sea” and can include all types of seafood, including mussels, clams, prawns and other shellfish.

    It can be served in different ways: crudo (raw), fried and sautéed, for example.

    Sautéed, it is often used to top bucatini, linguine or spaghetti.

    For a first course, gather your favorite seafood and:

  • Serve it as a marinated seafood salad with good olive oil and lemon juice for at least part of the vinegar. You can serve it as is, but we prefer turning it into a green salad course.
  • You can mix the seafood with olives or capers. You can add onion. Place it atop Boston lettuce or mesclun mixed with fresh basil and baby arugula.
  • Pile it into a Martini or coupe glass, with a small romaine leaf for garnish.
  • You can serve frutti di mare as a pasta course, with good olive oil or garlic-infused oil as your sauce (don’t forget the fresh herbs). Or, use your favorite red sauce.
  • Like to make cannelloni or crêpes? Fill them with frutti de mare and top with mornay sauce.
  • Need a soup course? Cook the fish and seafood in some Swanson broth.
     
    HOW CUTTLEFISH ARE DIFFERENT FROM SQUID

    They’re different from calamari, too.

  •  

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    Frutti Di Mare

    Frutti di mare, mixed seafood, can be served in many ways. [1] Marinated, at All’ Onda | NYC). [2] With pasta; here’s the recipe from InPerugia.com.

     

      

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Make Gravlax

    It’s easy to look at gravlax and think it’s smoked salmon. Both have that bright pink-orange color, both are served in thin slices.

    The differences: One is smoked over wood, the other is cured in brine; one requires a smoker, the other is cured in the fridge. Another distinction: Gravlax is always cured with fresh dill. Consider it as dill-cured salmon. Another: Gravlax tends to be more pale in color; but the color of smoked salmon varies and depends on factors from farmed vs. wild to diet of the fish.

    Our first introduction to gravlax was in college. Invited to a dinner party, we arrived early to help, and were proudly shown the first course: gravlax. It had been cured for three days in the fridge, under a brick!

    It looked like smoked salmon, a favorite of ours; but the taste was so much more delicate. Without the infusion of smoke, a more pure salmon quality came through.
     
    A BRIEF HISTORY OF GRAVLAX

    During the Middle Ages, gravlax was made by fishermen, who salted the salmon and lightly fermented it by burying it in the sand on the beach above the high-tide line. The word gravlax comes from the Scandinavian word gräva/grave, to dig; and lax/laks, salmon.

    Today fermentation is no longer used in favor of brining. The salmon is “buried” in a dish in the fridge, in a dry marinade of salt, sugar and dill. In three days, it’s cured. That’s it!

    Some people like to add grated beets, to color the gravlax red.

    Don’t toss the brine produced during curing: Use it to make a sauce for other seafood recipes.

    Beyond salmon, you can use this technique to cure any fatty fish, such as arctic char, black cod/sablefish, butterfish/pompano, Chilean sea bass, Florida pompano and mackerel. For an interesting first course that’s full of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Here’s a list of (fatty vs. lean fish.

    RECIPE: HOMEMADE GRAVLAX

    Wild salmon is the most delicious, but you can use any salmon, fresh or frozen, with the skin on (but remove any scales and small bones). If frozen, defrost it first, ideally overnight in the fridge.

    If you’re concerned about eating raw fish, freeze the salmon before preparing it. This kills any harmful bacteria.

    If you want to take this recipe for a test-drive, halve the ingredients. You can also make two half batches, testing different curing times (12 hours versus 48 hours, e.g.).

    Ingredients For 10 Three-Ounce Servings

  • 2 pounds salmon (skin on, defrosted if previously frozen)
  • 1 bunch of dill, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups of brown sugar
  • Optional: 2-3 raw beets, grated, for a red color (see photo)
  • 1 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons freshly-ground black pepper
  •  
    Variation

    Some recipes add vodka and citrus zest.

    Preparation

    1. MAKE a few cuts in the skin so the marinade will better penetrate.

    2. MIX all ingredients except the salmon in a bowl until you have a gooey paste. Cover each piece of the salmon’s flesh side (not the skin side) with a thick layer of paste. If using two fillets, sandwich them together, flesh-side to flesh-side, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap to keep out any air.

    3. PLACE the salmon on a tray or plate (we used a glass baking dish) and let it marinate for 2-4 hours at room temperature. Then place it in the fridge with a very weight on top of it. If you have a couple of bricks, great: Stick them in plastic bags and use them as weights.

    4. CURE for 12-36 hours, depending on how cured a taste you want. Turn the salmon occasionally.

  • 12-24 hours is a light cure that will yield a very fresh tasting gravlax.
  • 48 hours will yield a gravlax with sharper flavor from the seasonings.
  • Slice off a small piece and taste it. If you want more flavor, rewrap the salmon and put it back in the fridge.
  •  
    5. TO SERVE, wipe off the extra seasoning, rinse the fillets and pat them dry. Using a sharp knife, slice the gravlax vertically, cut into thin slices without getting too close to the skin. Serve it with your choice of ingredients; see the list below.
     
    RECIPE #2: MUSTARD SAUCE FOR GRAVLAX

    You can serve horseradish cream with the gravlax, Swedish mustard sauce, or both.

    We adapted this recipe from Sweden.se.

    Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoons grainy mustard
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or honey
  • 1½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and fresh-ground pepper*
  • 1 cup olive or other vegetable oil
  • Chopped dill
  •    

    Salmon Fillet

    Gravlax

    Gravlax Plate

    Gravlax Eggs Benedict

    Gravlax Tartine

    Beet-Dyed Gravlax

    [1] Turn this salmon fillet into [2] gravlax (photo #1 courtesy Seabee Salmon; photo #2 courtesy Sweden.se). [3] Gravlax can be served plain or fancy, as in this first course from Eataly | Chicago, or [4] Gravlax Eggs Benedict (photo courtesy Jarlsberg). [5] You can serve a simple open- (or closed-) face sandwich, or an elegant presentation like this one from C Chicago. [6] Beet-dyed gravlax with some of its traditional accompaniments (photo courtesy Good Eggs | San Francisco).

     
    Preparation

    1. MIX the mustard, sugar and vinegar together thoroughly; season with salt and fresh-ground pepper.

    2. POUR the oil in a steady, thin stream, stirring constantly. When the sauce reaches a mayonnaise-like consistency, mix in the chopped dill.
     
    ________________
    *The recipe called for white pepper, a popular ingredient in Swedish cooking but not often used by American home cooks. We used black. Peppercorns are the fruit of a vine, Piper nigrum. White pepper is a conventional peppercorn with the black husk removed. While much of the piperine—the compound that gives pungency to the peppercorn—is in the husk, French chefs of yore chose to remove it to avoid black specks in pure white dishes like white sauces and puréed potatoes. Frankly, we like the specks and the extra flavor from the husk, and use black peppercorns universally. Here are the different types of pepper, including pink peppercorns, green peppercorns and dozens of others, none of which is Piper nigrum.

     

    Gravlax With Mustard Sauce

    Horseradish Sauce

    Prepared Horseradish

    [7] Swedish mustard sauce from The Galanter’s Kitchen. [8] Horseradish sauce (photo courtesy Food Network), made with [8] prepared horseradish (photo courtesy Koops).

     

     
    RECIPE #3: HORSERADISH SAUCE

    Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons prepared (jarred) horseradish
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • Extras virgin olive oil
  • Pinch salt
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE the sour cream, horseradish and lemon grated horseradish and lemon juice from in a small bowl. Mix well, season with a pinch of salt and add a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

    2. COVER and place in the fridge until ready to serve.

     
    WAYS TO SERVE GRAVLAX

    Gravlax is a mainstay of the Swedish smorgasbord. You can serve it that way with some of the ingredients below; or use it as you would smoked salmon. Yes, it works on a bagel, a sandwich, a canapé, Salmon Eggs Benedict, etc.

  • Blini or other savory pancakes
  • Capers
  • Crème fraîche
  • Cucumber salad
  • Pickled vegetables
  • Potatoes, boiled and dressed with parsley and/or dill, or in a vinaigrette
  • Radishes, sliced (look for candy-stripe of watermelon radishes)
  • Red onion, thinly sliced
  • Sauerkraut (look for an artisan/probiotic brands)
  • Watercress
  •  
    Plus

  • Lemon wedges
  • Horseradish cream
  • Mustard sauce
  • Rye bread (dark and/or light rye)
  • Optional: unsalted butter
  •  
    Optional: Other Seafood

  • Anchovies
  • Herring
  • Mackerel gravlax
  • Sardines
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