The first time I ever tasted and made beet cured salmon was in Stockholm, Sweden.
I worked as a Commis de Cuisine in the Hotel Reisen in Gamla Stan, not very far from the Royal Palace.
Stockholm was the place to be, young chefs from all over, Germans, Swiss, Brits, Italians, all working in first-class hotels and restaurants.
The Hotel Reisen and restaurant were known for their high quality “Husmanskost” like gravadlax, Jansson’s temptation, etc. and of course, we served the famous Köttbullars, Swedish meatballs with lingonberry jam. I remember the pickled herring, served with bread, garnished with red onions and chives; the perfect excuse for plenty of shots of aquavit. Pittypanna, you have to agree only the name “Pittypanna” makes you want to order a serving, Pittypanna was one of my favorites for breakfast. It’s a simple potato hash with smoked sausage, topped with fried eggs and accompanied by pickled beets. Stockholm had awesome restaurants, I remember the Operakällaren, serving brilliant Michelin star food. The restaurant first opened up in the autumn of 1787 in the brand new opera house and many find their main dining room to be one of Sweden’s most beautiful dining rooms.
I love medieval towns, they make you feel like you took a step back in time and Gamla Stan tells a story from long ago. I have fond memories of Stockholms Old Town, its quaint alleyways and cobblestone streets are part of its charm. If you only have enough time in Stockholm to visit one place, I highly recommend a visit to Gamla Stan.
As young chefs, for us, that was the way to live; travel, and cook in as many countries as possible. We were all up for an adventure, we all wanted to learn to cook different cuisines, techniques and work with the best chefs possible, learn new languages, and experience different cultures.
Beet cured salmon:
Beet cured salmon is an inherently simple preparation and the little work it takes to make beet cured salmon pays off big in both flavor and presentation. The salt and sugar cure is simple; one part kosher salt and half the amount of granulated sugar. I prefer this ratio, it creates a perfect saltiness, rounded out with a little sweetness.
Purchase the freshest filet of salmon you can find:
I add cracked coriander seeds, peppercorn, fresh dill, and lemon zest to my salt, sugar blend.
The grated horseradish and beets add another flavor profile and the beets add that wonderful color. Cured for 3 days, the salmon will keep in the refrigerator for about one week. One thing to keep in mind, cured salmon will go bad. Just because it’s cured does not mean it will keep forever. The length of time a cured salmon will stay fresh depends very much on the quality of salmon you purchase.
Making the crème fraîche:
is as easy as curing the salmon. Combine heavy cream and buttermilk, let sit at room temperature for 24 hours and the invisible little creatures (Bacteria) will do their work. Use pasteurized heavy cream, not ultra-pasteurized heavy cream, and use cultured buttermilk. Otherwise, it will take forever to make the crème fraîche. Cooking the perfect soft-boiled egg is as simple as it gets, just use the perfect soft-boiled egg recipe and you are good to go.
The beet cured salmon, with the perfect soft boiled egg & crème fraîche, is a very satisfying meal for breakfast, Sunday brunch, or even a light lunch.
Enjoy and remember, cured salmon is the perfect excuse for plenty of shots of aquavit straight from the freezer.
Beet Cured Salmon, Perfect Soft Boiled Eggs & Chive Crème Fraîche
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 3 tbsp buttermilk
- 1 bunch chives fresh
- 12 each eggs
Make Crème Fraîche
- Combine heavy cream and buttermilk in a glass jar. Cover with cheesecloth and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours. Stir, cover with a lid, and refrigerate for another 24 hours before using.2 cups heavy cream, 3 tbsp buttermilk
Shred Beets and horseradish
- Cut peeled horseradish and beets into chunks and shred in a food processor.1 lb red beets, 6 oz fresh horseradish
Cure the salmon filet
- Rinse salmon filet with cold water and dry with a paper towel, using a pair of tweezers remove pin bones. In a bowl combine salt, sugar, lemon zest, cracked coriander, shredded beets, horseradish, and cracked black peppercorn with chopped dill. Wear gloves to avoid turning your hands purple.2 lb salmon filet, 2 cups salt, 1 cup sugar, 1 bunch dill;, 1 tbsp coriander seeds, 1 whole lemon, 1 tbsp black pepper, ground
- Choose a pan that is large enough to hold the salmon filet. Place a sheet of aluminum foil in a pan that extends beyond the length of the salmon. Spread a little of the beet mixture on the foil and place salmon filet skin down on top. Cover evenly with remaining beet, salt, sugar mixture and cover with another piece of foil. Close tight. The idea is to make a tight package in which the cure mixture is in contact with all surfaces of the salmon.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place another pan on top, weigh with cans. Cure in a refrigerator for 3 days.
- Remove the salmon filet from the cure, scrape off the mixture and discard. Rinse salmon filet under cold running water, to remove any remaining mixture, dry with a paper towel. To remove the skin, place the salmon skin-side down on a cutting board. Holding a sharp, thin knife at about a 30-degree angle, cut between the flesh and the skin to separate it from the flesh.
Soft boil the eggs
- Bring 1/2 inch water to boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Using tongs, gently place eggs in boiling water (eggs will not be submerged). Cover saucepan and cook eggs for 6 1/2 minutes. Remove cover, transfer saucepan to sink, and place under cold running water for 30 seconds. Peel and set aside12 each eggs
Mix Crème Fraîche
- Cut chives and mix with Crème Fraîche.1 bunch chives
- Serve diced salmon with chive Crème Fraîche, soft boiled eggs, and crusty farmer's bread.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate