When you have really fresh salmon, it's good to keep it simple. This gin and juniper cured salmon uses some of Canada's best known ingredients and it's the kind of flavours you can expect from chef Jamie Harling of Calgary's Deane House, who will be participating in Eat North's Prairie Grid Dinner Series.
Chef's Tip: When wrapped tightly, remaining cured salmon can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Place salt, sugar, gin and juniper berries in a food processor and pulse until the ingredients turn into a paste.
Place a thin layer of the salt mixture on a parchment lined tray, about 1/3 of mixture. Place salmon, skin side down, on the salt mixture and cover with remaining mixture. Put a second piece of parchment on top of the salt covered salmon and place a baking tray on top. Weigh down the tray with a couple of large cans and place in refrigerator for 36 hours.
After 36 hours, rinse the salmon under cold water, removing all of the salt mixture.
Place salmon on a drying rack on a tray and place in fridge for another 12 hours, letting the fish dry and allowing a pellicle to form. (Chef's note: At this point, the fish is completely edible. At the restaurant, we cold smoke the salmon using juniper boughs, creating more depth of flavour, but this is not a necessary step.)
To serve, place fish skin side down, and slice between 1/8” and ¼” thick, without cutting the skin.
Serve on toast, with crème fraiche, sliced cucumbers, pickled shallots and fresh dill.