Enjoy gravlax with ease
Why are we so ready to believe that great results require great effort?
We live in a culture that tells us that to achieve anything worthwhile, we have to work hard, to struggle and to fight. But I am beginning to feel that quite the opposite is true. There is no proof that struggle leads us to success. Actually the focus on battling through life seems to undermine any goals of peace and happiness.
The key seems to be to look at life through different eyes; to let go of fear and strife, and to replace them with effortless and creative living.
So with this in mind, this post is not just a recipe for wonderfully tasty cured salmon, but my proof that effortless living is the secret to joy
For this dish you need to do nothing more than wrap some fish in salt, sugar and dill. Let some days pass (they will do that all on their own) and then enjoy the experience of a beautifully, clean tasting, tender piece of cured salmon.
(And just to prove that ease and adventure go together hand in hand, see “tips and variations” below for a truly wild way of making gravlax.)
400g fresh salmon skin on
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
a large bunch of dill
- Rinse the salmon and pat dry with kitchen paper.
- Place a double layer of cling film on your counter top. Place half the dill on the cling film.
- Combine salt and sugar. And rub all over the fish.
- Place fish on cling film and dill. Top with remaining dill.
- Wrap fish tightly in cling film and place into a (zip lock) bag.
- Put the parcel in a Tupperware container or oven dish.
- Place a plate or chopping board on the fish and weigh it down with heavy objects. (Or completely forget about this step as I sometimes seem to do.)
- Keep the salmon in the fridge for 3-5 days. It is best to turn the fish once a day to ensure even curing.
- Unwrap the fish and discard the dill.
- Rinse, pat dry and remove the skin.
- Cutting against the grain, serve in thin slices.
- The cured fish keeps for at least one week in the refrigerator.
Tips & Variations
Consider some of the following
- add a little crushed black pepper to the salt and sugar
- drizzle the fish with a tablespoon of vodka or aquavit
- Add lemon zest
Adventurous Gravad Lax
A friend of mine shared his way of making Gravlax with me. It is so much more exciting & wild than my “domesticated” recipe. Unfortunately it is a true winter recipe that requires frost. So although winter is hardly gone I am already looking forward to its return to try this myself.
- Rub the salmon generously with Cognac (he uses Osborne)
- Wrap the fish in aluminum foil and then in cling film.
- Bury the fish in the garden about 40cm deep (this is where the name originates from: gravad lax.)
- Dig up three weeks later and enjoy.
Thank you GdB for this amazing recipe!
These muffins make a fabulously healthy snack
It was on a cold and dismal day that I came across this recipe. I wanted to curl up on the couch with a good book, a hot cup of tea and something sweet. Books and tea I have plenty, but sweets I really never have in the house. So I started looking for a little treat that was both healthy and could be made without having to head into the cold outdoors for ingredients.
This muffin was a fabulous find: the recipe could not be simpler. It is incredibly tasty and ever so good for you. Did you know that oats have been found to improve the immune system and lower bad cholesterol amongst other things.
Make plenty ( I would double the portion) and keep the rest in the fridge for a quick breakfast on-the-go.
(found on the blog ‘my baking heart’)
Makes about 6 muffins
90g (1 cup) oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 ripe banana
1 small egg
60ml (1/3 cup) rice milk (alternatively almond or soy)
1/3 tsp vanilla extract
20ml (1/9 cup) agave nectar
50g (1/4 cup) blueberries (no need to defrost if frozen)
- Preheat oven to 175C (350 degrees).
- In a bowl combine oats, baking powder, oats.
- In a second bowl mash the banana with a fork.
- Whisk in the egg.
- Add almond milk, vanilla and agave.
- Add the oats to the banana and mix until just combined.
- Carefully fold in the blueberries.
- Scoop into a 6 whole silicon muffin tray (alternatively place cupcake liners in a regular muffin tin).
- Bake about 20 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown and set.
Healthy comfort food for cold mornings
Winter slowly seems to be on its way out: one day you are skidding and sliding in the snow, the next the promise of spring is in the air. At the same time mornings are still crisp and chilly.
On a weekday I just have a hot cup of coffee, wrap up warm and brace myself. But in the weekend I treat myself to a heartwarming breakfast. This fragrant bake comes together in minutes and bubbles away in the oven whilst you have a hot, leisurely shower.
Soft quinoa, berries bursting with juice and the gentle crunch of nuts. This dish tastes so luxurious and is ever so for you: Blueberries are the stars of antioxidant foods and quinoa is one of the most protein- and fiber rich ‘grains’ around.
(slightly altered from the recipe on the blog ‘Greatist‘)
170g (1 cup) quinoa (uncooked)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice (DE, NL: piment)
500ml (2 cups) rice milk (or regular semi-skim milk)
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp stevia powder (alternatively add another 2 tbsp maple syrup)
150-250g frozen blueberries
1 apple (or pear)
10-20g and pumpkin seeds and whole, peeled hazelnuts (or other nuts, either whole or chopped)
Oil or butter for greasing oven dish
- Preheat oven to 175C (350F).
- Lightly grease an oven dish (about 20x20cm / 8×8 inch).
- In a bowl stir together uncooked quinoa with the cinnamon, allspice and stevia. Spread into the oven dish.
- Peel apple and cut into 1,5 cm cubes. Scatter on top of quinoa together with the berries and nuts.
- In the bowl, you used for the quinoa, beat the eggs. Then add milk and maple syrup.
- Pour liquid over the quinoa.
- Bake for about 1 hour. Start checking once in a while after about 40 minutes. You are looking for a slightly crunchy, golden base and top with a soft center.
- Serve warm.
Power packed oats make for a fabulously healthy breakfast
When you were a teenager, did you have a friendship so close that you saw each other almost every day?
Then your paths separated. Over the years you stayed in touch. Picking up conversation stays easy, but your lives develop in such different directions that sometimes it is almost like becoming acquainted to a friendly stranger over and over again.
Decades later you get the chance to be friends again. You discover how much you have both changed. How different your old friend is, how different you are.
And then you make the peculiar discovery that both of you have new things in common.
This fabulously healthy recipe is for my long-time friend LL.
“Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.” – Groucho Marx
(found on the blog ‘Ambitious Kitchen‘)
About 8-10 pancakes
2 ripe medium bananas,
175ml (3/4 cup) unsweetened almond milk (or regular milk)
90g (1 cup) oats
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
A few drops of vanilla essence
- In a blender, add the bananas, cut into in chunks, with almond milk.
- Puree until completely blended and smooth.
- Add oats, baking powder, salt and vanilla essence
- Blend for about 1 minute until all is well combined.
- Allow to sit for a few minutes to thicken. It should be a rather thick batter consistency. You can add a little more milk if necessary.
- Heat a non-stick or crepe pan.
- Make small pancakes (about 60ml batter per pancake). Spread a little with a spoon.
- Cook until until golden, moist yet cooked through. (It took me a few attempts to get this just right.)
These pancakes are slightly dense. Adding something moist adds an lovely dimension:
- banana slices
- maple syrup
- fresh fruit
- some (frozen) blueberries, heated
- raspberry (apple) compote
Tips & Variations
Add a slightly different flavour to the pancakes by adding
- a little cinnamon
- sprinkle chocolate chips into the batter as soon as you have ladled it into the pan
- add a few (frozen) into the batter as soon as you have ladled it into the pan
Delicate texture and nutty flavour make these easy blinis perfect for celebrating the Old as well as the New Year
On the verge of a 2013.
A strange time of the year: looking back, looking forward; around the turn of the year I seem to live more in yesterday and tomorrow than in the moment.
But then thankful there is always food to celebrate the moment and anchor us in the now.
So this year I send my good wishes – through blinis : nutritious buckwheat for health, downy egg whites for happiness, pearls of caviar for plenty and the bliss of the combination for love.
I wish you a wonderful New Year!
(from the blog ‘The Wandering Eater‘)
About 8 small blinis
2 tablespoons buckwheat flour
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
60ml (1/4 cup) milk
1 large egg
optional: 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
crème fraîche (or a lovely creamy yoghurt like Total 0%)
optional: dill for decoration
- Combine buckwheat and all-purpose flour in a bowl. Add sugar, soda, salt.
- Separate egg.
- Whisk egg yolk and milk into dry ingredients until smooth.
- In a separate bowl whisk egg white until it forms peaks.
- Fold whites under batter.
- Wipe pan with a little oil. Make blinis with about 1 tbsp of batter each.
- Cook until bottom is golden and the top dry with a few bubbles. (About 1 minute.) Flip and cook for another minute.
- To keep them warm whilst making the rest, transfer to a plate and cover with foil.
- Serve immediately.
- Top with a little crème fraîche, caviar and a tiny sprig of dill.
- Refrigerate to allow it to thicken.