Sunday, December 29, 2013

How to Make Gravlax & Cured Salmon Galettes

Cured Salmon Galettes 1

'Tis The Season, and don't we all know it.  The festive season can be a wonderful time of the year - a time to spend time with family and friends, share some celebratory food (and a drink or two), but it can also be a highly stressful time of year.  Many of us take on too much ... trying to keep up with busy jobs, be the perfect hostess, stay on top of children's end of year activities, get the Christmas shopping done without blowing the budget ... the list goes on and on.  Not to mention all the over-indulgence on so many levels.

This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs we are all about food and drink for holiday parties and entertaining, and thankfully our current guest chef, Donna Hay, has plenty of great ideas to make entertaining for the festive season a breeze.

These little salmon pastries, adapted from a recipe from the Donna Hay website are perfect for a holiday party.  They are elegant, delectable and ridiculously easy to put together.  The original recipe uses smoked salmon, and that would certainly be delicious, but since gravlax is also incredibly easy to make and a great stand-by ingredient to have on hand at this time of year, I thought I would also share my recipe.

Wishing you all much joy for what remains of the festive season, and a happy and fulfilling year ahead.

Gravlax Recipe
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe

45g (1-1/2 oz) sugar
60g (2 oz) brown sugar
60g (2oz) coarse sea salt
6 to 8 juniper berries
ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 tablespoons gin, optional
600-700g piece of salmon fillet, skin on, pin bones removed

In a small bowl, mix together the sugar, brown sugar and salt, combining well.

Lay a large sheet of tinfoil (at least twice the length of the piece of salmon) on your kitchen bench, and sprinkle half the sugar/salt mixture over the centre of the foil.  Place the salmon on top of the sugar/salt mixture, and cover the fish completely with the remaining mixture.  Sprinkle juniper berries, ground pepper and fennel seeds over the top, and drizzle over the gin if using.

Gravlax 1

Note:  You could also at this time top the salmon with any of the following optional ingredients:  a fennel bulb, thinly sliced;  a large bunch of chopped dill;  zest of a lemon or 1/2 of a chopped preserved lemon;  vodka instead of gin - I imagine even tequila would work well.

Wrap the tinfoil closely around the fish and seal all edges well.

Place the package in a dish, just big enough to hold it, and weight it down.  Refrigerate for two to three days, turning it over each day.

Fish will be ready when it feels firm to touch.

Gravlax 2

Slice thinly and serve with buckwheat blini, bagels, in salads, as an addition to an appetiser platter, or atop these little galettes - even tossed through pasta is great.

Cured Salmon Galettes 2

Cured Salmon Galettes Recipe
Adapted from recipe by Donna Hay
Makes 8
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe

1x sheet ready rolled flaky pastry
1x egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
pinch dried tarragon flakes
1 heaped teaspoon capers
flaky sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
8x slices of gravlax
handful of rocket leaves

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C (390 degrees F).

Cut the pastry square into four equal squares, then cut each square in half - you will end up with four rectangles.  Brush the pastry rectangles with the beaten egg, and prick each one in several places with a fork.  Place the prepared pastry on a parchment lined baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven until puffed and golden - about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the sour cream, vinegar, parsley, tarragon, capers, salt and pepper.  Taste and adjust any of the flavourings as necessary.

Remove the baked pastry from the oven.   Top each one with a dollop of the sour cream mixture, a slice of salmon and a rocket leaf.

Serve immediately or at room temperature.

This is a great appetiser to serve for any festive occasion, or would also make a delicious, light lunch served with a fresh salad.

If you would like to get to know Donna Hay a little better, and to see all the wonderful festive fare my friends have been cooking up, then do go visit I Heart Cooking Clubs and check out the links.

IHCC Donna Hay Badge resized

I'll also be sharing this post this week at See Ya In the Gumbo hosted by the lovely Michelle at Ms. enPlace, Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth at Beth Fish Reads, and at Foodie Fridays hosted by Designs by Gollam.

See Ya in The Gumbo Badge     Weekend Cooking Badge     Foodie Friday Badge


  1. This looks like an appetizer I would love to have someone make at a party I'm attending, but not something I'd ever make myself! Delicious-looking but too complicated for me!

  2. I love gravlax -- well anything salmon! This looks beautiful. I think the hardest part would be the thin slicing. :)

  3. I watched Simon Hopkinson do something similar and it's on my to do list for the summer holidays. These look delicious. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas and 2014 brings all you hope for and more. JT xx

  4. My mom made cured salmon years ago, it is a beautiful dish. Honestly though, I have yet to try some.....

  5. I love gravlax but I have only made it once. Your post makes me want to make it again. These look like delicious little bites. Hope you had wonderful holidays Sue and that things calm down for you soon. ;-)

  6. They look fantastic! I love gravlax but had no idea how easy it was to make....I'll definitely have to give this a try.

  7. I'm loving the slightly different curing mix, I've done traditional and beetroot. I'll give this a go next week.

  8. I need to try this. Sounds simple to make.

  9. Oh Sue....those are simply beautiful, stunning, and festive little appetizers. They would definitely make a guest, or anyone for that matter, feel very special. Hope your holiday was a great one!

  10. Wow, such a simple and beautiful appetizer. A platter of this lovely appetizer would definitely calls for attention at any party! You have done a great job with the salmon!
    Happy New Year!

  11. Delicious Sue! And Happy New Year! xx

  12. This looks delicious and of course it is from Donna Hay.

  13. This looks amazing. The seafood in NZ is always great- you have so much more smoked fish available than we do in Australia. I've always meant to try gravlax at home but never have. It looks so easy, but so delicious.

  14. heh, I got on a "cured fish" kick... oh, 4 or 5 years ago. I "gravlax-i-sized" just about everything that swam in the ocean. Some fish worked brilliantly (ie - tuna, salmon, snapper, and most firm white fish. Some... like the Tilapia... was like eating cured sea scum) But nothing really beats a beautifully simple cure on good quality salmon.


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