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From My Kosher Jerusalem Kitchen: Forgiving Salmon

I love this quote from an article “Salmon and the Jews” by Noah and Rae Bernamoff (October 12, 2012, “Salmon is the quintessential Jewish food…The great thing about salmon is that it’s so forgiving. Any beginner cook knows this; even if you leave it under the broiler too long, it still comes out moist because of all that luscious fat. That fattiness is what makes salmon such a good choice for home-curing, too. It just won’t dry out.”

Lox is the Yiddish word for salmon or smoked salmon; however, all lox is smoked salmon but not all smoked salmon is lox.

Salmon is native to the North Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It is high in protein, high in Omega-3 fatty acids and high in Vitamin D.

Here are some salmon recipes you may enjoy.

I am not sure where I got this recipe but it is one of my favorites.

Salmon in Wine Sauce With Fettuccine

6 servings

13 ounces fettuccine

1/3 cup olive oil

1 chopped onion

10½ ounces filet salmon, cut into bite-size squares

1¼ cups cream

6-9 tablespoons tomato sauce

2/3 cup white wine

salt and pepper to taste

chopped parsley

basil leaves

1. Boil water for fettuccine.

2. Heat oil in a frying pan. Add onion and salmon and cook over high flame

 1½ to 2 minutes until salmon turns brown.

3. Add wine. Add fettuccine to boiling water and cook 7 minutes.

4. Meantime, add tomato sauce and cream to salmon and cook over high heat, 5-7 minutes. Add salt and pepper.

5. Drain fettuccine and add to sauce. Blend. Pour into serving bowl. Garnish with chopped parsley and basil leaves.

Another quick way to fix salmon, and again, I am not sure of the origin.

Poached Salmon with Cucumber Dill Sauce

4 servings

  • 1-1¼ pounds skinned salmon, cut into 1½-inch strips
  • ¼ cup green onions
  • 1 sprig fresh dill
  • ½ sliced lemon
  • ½ cup dry vermouth or white wine
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • ½ cup water

Day before serving

1. In a large sauté pan, sprinkle green onions. Top with dill and lemon slices.

Add salmon on top.

2. Pour wine, stock and water over salmon. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook 10-12 minutes or until salmon starts to flake.

3. Remove salmon, strain liquid and cool. Place in a baking dish with liquid.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Cucumber Dill Sauce

  • 4 servings
  • 1 diced Kirby cucumber
  • 2 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoon sour cream
  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1. Combine cucumber, mayonnaise, sour cream, dill and
  • lemon juice in a bowl.
  • Cover and chill.

Elinor’s Gravlox

Gravlox is a Nordic dish of cured raw salmon.

The word gravlax comes from the Scandinavian word meaning “to dig”; in the modern sense “to cure (fish)”). During the Middle Ages, gravlax was made by fishermen who salted the salmon and lightly fermented it by burying it in the sand above the high tide line.

This recipe comes from a fellow Jerusalem Hadassah-Israel board member, Elinor Slater, who received the recipe from a friend’s son, Gilad Atlas, when he was studying to become a chef.

This recipe is good for a crowd.

  • 1½  days before serving
  • 1 6 pounds, 2 ¾ ounces salmon filet with the skin
  • 1¼ cups kosher salt 
  • 2 bunches of dill, rinsed, roughly cut, leave the stems (I have never measured into cups)
  • 7 garlic cloves
  • ¼  cup olive oil  

1. Lay the clean salmon on clear plastic wrap (hint: cut the salmon in halves to make wrapping easier)

2. Mix salt, dill, garlic and olive oil. Spread a small amount of salt mixture on the plastic wrap under the salmon.

3. Cover the salmon with the rest of the salt mixture so that no “pink” shows. (You may need to add extra salt to mixture.) Wrap the salmon TIGHTLY in the plastic wrap so that it is firmly closed. (I go round and round the filets in both directions 8 or 9 times.) Place in the refrigerator.

Leave a large salmon filet in the fridge for 36 hours. If the filet is thin, it will come out “gravlox” after being left in the fridge overnight but not so “cured”  if left for longer. 

To serve, unwrap, rinse all the salt mixture off, being careful not to rehydrate the salmon, Slice thin, arrange on plate. Serve with crackers and cream cheese (optional). 

If using a smaller salmon, adjust the amounts.

Sybil Kaplan is a journalist, author, compiler/editor of nine kosher cookbooks (working on a 10th) and food writer for North American Jewish publications. She lives in Jerusalem where she leads weekly walks of Machaneh Yehudah, the Jewish food market, in English, and writes the restaurant features for, the oldest, largest website for English speakers.

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