Wednesday, August 25, 2004


Aquavit Spiced Salmon

I love the herbs and spices used in this dish. It's almost refreshing. If you can't find aquavit, season the sour cream with 1/4 teaspoon ground fennel seeds, 1/4 teaspoon ground dill seeds, 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 1 tablespoon vodka.

1 pound salmon fillet, skin on, bones removed
2 teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons dill seeds
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon aquavit (Scandinavian alcohol)
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chervil or parsley
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar, or to taste

Rinse the fish under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels.

In a small skillet, over low heat, toast the coriander, cumin, dill, and fennel seeds for about 2 minutes, until they start to release their fragrance. Remove from heat and transfer to a small bowl, add the salt, and combine.

Rub the fish with the spice mixture and place in a baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.

To prepare the aquavit sour cream, in a small bowl, mix together the sour cream, aquavit, caraway seeds, and chervil. Add vinegar to taste. Cover and refrigerate.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Place the baking dish with the fish on the middle oven rack and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until it flakes nicely with a fork.

Serve the fish topped with the sour cream and accompanied by the fennel.

Recipe adapted from Andreas Viestad, author of the incredible book KITCHEN OF LIGHT: New Scandinavian Cooking

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