Before we ventured off into the deep of Colombia and Panama (more appropriately descriptive photos/stories to follow...) I cured salmon. Alot of salmon.
Heavy on the salt, sugar, juniper and citrus skin. The combination of ingredients used for curing create an intoxicating cloud of aroma. The sweet simplicity in the art of curing has captured me recently. Small jars in my refrigerator are filled to the brim with carrots, cucumbers, Asparagus or shallots. All awaiting their destination alongside a panini, in a bloody mary, or layered inside Korean lettuce wraps. It was just the next step for me to properly cure a fish... or two.
(Recipe adapted from Barbara Lynch)
Note: the recipe is doubled for 4 sides of salmon. Don't let the excessive amount of citrus rind intimidate you. It makes all the difference in the outcome. Plus it is an instant air freshener!
1 c Juniper berries
2 c Coriander
12 Bay leaves
1 c Peppercorns
4 c Salt
4 c Sugar
10 Lemons- zested
14 Limes- zested
4 oranges- zested
Grind spices and mix with salt, sugar and zest in a large bowl. Cover salmon, top and bottom with curing mixture. Place the salmon top side down, and refrigerate for 48 hours. Rinse flesh clean and pat dry. Slice salmon thinly, at an angle from tail end to the top.
The coral colored flesh of the salmon is offset by the bright pink papaya on the opposite end of the table. Before forks are lifted by guests, and my pans are just hot enough to make eggs a reality, a knock at the aft deck draws our attention. Opportunities to buy local, and very recently caught seafood from the Kuna Indians is rare at times. Placing a large pot of water on to boil before I run down and receive the lively crustacean of the day. Breakfast has yet to begin, but lunch is already in the works.