Gravlax (Fresh Salmon Marinated In Dill)
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skin-on salmon fillets (about 2 pounds each)
peppercorns, white or black
coarsely chopped fresh dill
rye cocktail bread slices, optional
stone ground sweet mustard, sweet-hot mustard, or country style dijon mustard
white wine vinegar
sugar (3-4 teaspoons if using dijon mustard)
finely chopped fresh dill weed
For the sauce, mix the mustard, vinegar and sugar in a small bowl.
Gradually whisk in the oil.
Refrigerate, tightly covered, up to three days.
Whisk again before using.
Run your fingers down the flesh side of each fillet to locate the small pin bones and remove them with tweezers or needle-nose pliers.
Wipe the flesh with a damp paper towel.
Combine the salt, sugar and peppercorns in a small bowl.
Rub the mixture onto the flesh side of both fillets.
Sprinkle the dill evenly over 1 fillet and lay the other fillet flesh-side down on top, placing the thin end of one over the thick end of the other.
Place the salmon in a large plastic bag, press out the air and seal tightly.
Put the salmon on a platter and lay a cutting board or baking sheet on top and weight it down with three 1- to 2-pound cans of food.
Refrigerate 36 to 48 hours, turning the bag of fillets over every 12 hours.
Lift fillets from the bag and discard the bag and accumulated liquid.
Scrape the seasonings off the fish and pat dry. (Fillets can be wrapped in plastic and stored in the refrigerator up to 10 days before serving -- see note below.)
Place one fillet, skin side down, on a large serving platter (with head end to the left for right-handed people).
Hold the knife blade tilted so you'll be slicing down through the fillet at a 45-degree angle (rather than straight up and down).
Begin slicing at the head end, making a 1/8-inch-thick slice.
At the bottom of slice, turn the knife blade gently to separate the slice from the skin.
Using the knife, turn the slice over to the left as if turning the page of a book.
Continue cutting 1/8-inch slices on the angle, separating each from the skin and turning each slice over to partially overlap the previous one.
Repeat with remaining fillet.
Garnish with fresh dill and serve with Mustard Dill Sauce and rye or dark bread.