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And Now for a Moment of Gravlax

Yes, this blog is back … and so am I. Less than a day back in the U.S., here I am in Minneapolis posting some of my final photos of my Ballymaloe adventure. The two feet of snow outside and the collapsed football stadium are clues that I am no longer in Ireland, but just pretend along with me, ‘kay?

First, there’s gravlax. Rory demo’ed this back in the day. In Scandinavia, the fish can be flavored with many different ingredients — vodka or beetroot. Of course, at Ballymaloe, we learn the Ballymaloe way. It involves taking the tail piece of fresh wild Irish salmon and adding a little bit of pepper as well as heaped tablespoons of sea salt, sugar, and lots of finely chopped fresh dill to the fish. You scatter it along the salmon (you can also use mackeral!), then plastic wrap it up and refrigerate it for at least a day.

Rory first touched the salmon to demonstrate how after a few days refrigerating, the flesh had firmed up. He then started to cut slices, emphasizing cutting straight through the flesh when you serve it, in “slices suited for some very small person” — and not overdoing the squeezy bottle action (in this case, mustard and dill mayonnaise).

He also mentioned the brown bits of the fish that some people scrape off. Those bits are actually where the omega fatty acids are — so the bits people actually need.

The gravlax was served with Ballymaloe brown yeast bread (Rory recommends making it with a little bit of extra treacle) and with cucumber pickle, a Scandinavian pickle served often at Ballymaloe with seafood, made of thinly sliced cucumber (think mandolin!), onion, sugar, salt, and cider vinegar.

Also, part of the garnish were fennel flowers…

…and a few tiny bits of dill, cut using scissors, which Rory dubbed “the most under–utilized piece of kitchen equipment”.

*What do you say Hartshorns, maybe give it a try for next year’s Swedish Midsummer Buffet?

2 Responses to “And Now for a Moment of Gravlax”

  1. Alli says:

    Welcome back, Rosie! Does it feel like a dream yet that you were there?

  2. admin says:

    Yes. I entered the dream and it was amazing. Let’s talk soon. I want to discuss your thoughts on post-cookery school plans!

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