Citrus-Cured Salmon with Horseradish Crème Fraîche
Growing up in New Jersey, smoked salmon became a special breakfast item in my house. My father would bring it in from Manhattan’s Barney Greengrass, and we would marvel over its oily flesh and clean flavor. Even as a kid, I would eat the prized slices right off the parchment paper (heck, I still do that every once in a while!). At my restaurant, The Red Hen in Washington DC, I like to cure my own fish—usually beautiful line-caught Pacific king salmon. Once the fish has cured, I cube the flesh and fold in crème fraîche, fresh horseradish, capers, shallots and herbs to create a wonderful appetizer served alongside house-made potato chips. A couple of years ago, I brought the dish to a Passover meal, and it was a huge hit. Now, friends and family are still asking for the recipe to impress their guests with this deceivingly simple treat!
- Cured Salmon
- 1 8-ounce salmon filet
- 1¼ cups sugar
- 1 1/3 cups salt
- Zest of 3 oranges
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Zest of 1 lime
- 1 teaspoon coriander seed
- Horseradish Crème Fraîche
- 4 tablespoons horseradish, freshly grated (or 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish)
- 1 cup crème fraîche
- 2 tablespoons capers, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons shallots, minced
- 1 tablespoon dill, torn
- 1 tablespoon mint, torn
- 1 tablespoon chives, minced
- 1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
- To serve: potato chips
- Remove all the bones from the salmon. Mix sugar, salt, citrus zests and spices. Line the bottom of a casserole dish with half of the salt cure. Place the salmon filet on top and cover with the rest of the cure. Cover the casserole dish with plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for 2 days. Gently wash off the cure from the salmon and pat dry. Reserve for further use.
- Two days later, after the fish has cured, mix the horseradish with the crème fraîche until completely incorporated. Add capers, shallots and herbs. Mix gently to combine. Cube the salmon and add it, along with black pepper, to the crème fraîche mixture. Gently mix to combine. Place the salmon in a bowl over ice and serve with crispy house-made potato chips.