Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Alternative Processing of the Harvest - Part 3

~ whole sockeye ~
 On Sunday I had pulled out a bunch of coho to be brined & smoked. I also had this sockeye that I wanted to try something new with. Someone suggested lox after I mentioned I would like to learn how to cold smoke process my fish but didn't have the equipment.

Lox is fish that has been cured with salt & sugar & a herb (usually dill) & other seasonings (depending on the chef). I decided to experiment once again!

~ remove fillet ~
First I had to remove the fillets from my fish. I finally learned how to fillet in a very simple & easy fashion this year. I'm still learning the delicate art of cutting as close to the spine as possible & how to remove the belly bones & other little bones. Key is a very sharp knife & I also learned that if the fish is still slightly frozen, that helps immensely!

~ sockeye & thyme ~
I kept the fillets rather large - I can portion them up once the process is done & vac seal them for the winter.  I love the colour of sockeye!

Since I didn't have dill this year (yes, I was able to finally grow it, but it was more ornamental than practical...) I decided to use thyme. Hope this works!
~ coat in salt & sugar & pepper ~
The recipe calls for equal measures of salt & sugar (ie: 1/2 cup of each) & then some fresh ground black pepper (~ 2 Tbsp).

~ add thyme ~
Place the fillet on plastic wrap & coat in the salt-sugar mix.

Place a large amount of herb on top & then wrap the fillet in 2 layers of plastic wrap.

Some recipes call for daily flipping & daily unwrapping & basting in the liquid that comes out & for a weight to be placed on top... But the idea is to leave it in the fridge for 24 to 72 hours. Again, it will depend on the chef as to what the end product will be. I'm trying to keep it simple - I flip the fillets in the morning & again in the evening & I do have a weight on it.
~ lox almost ready ~

I decided to see how the curing process was coming along, so this morning I unwrapped one & cut a thin slice off the end. Would have tasted better if I had rinsed it off (ooo salt & pepper!) but I think it's coming along & I'll more than likely unwrap, rinse & dry off the fillets tonight after work.

Fingers crossed - I've had lox before, but it was a cold smoked product. Will let you know how this curing process works & if I need to do some more research & refine the process. So much easier than brining & smoking & canning!! But then again, I'm always keen to learn something new & experiment in the kitchen!

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