How to make gravlax

 
How to make gravlax
 

I DID IT.

I made cured salmon. And it worked!

There's so many food projects I want to tackle, but this one was quite intimidating. Cured salmon, or gravlax, isn't smoked salmon. Instead of smoking, the salmon is cured with tons of salt + other flavors.

My greatest fear with tackling this was that I was going to poison myself somehow. That didn't happen, but let's keep going.

I worked off of Spoon Fork Bacon's recipe for gravlax which uses lots of brown sugar, salt + dill to cure the salmon.

And it's easy, because you just dump the cure mix on one salmon filet + then top everything with the other salmon filet. Wrap it tight, and wait.

Wait a few days.

And you'll end up with something like this.

Totally transformed + cured. In the end all of those flavors really do hit the salmon. It's kind of incredible because you get the dill, the sugar, and the salt--all in one bite.

But you don't have to stop here. 

Toast up some bread, give 'em a swipe of mayo, a slice of gravlax, grainy mustard + a bit of dill. It reminded me of this salmon I had at the Maltby Street Market in London--but much more salty + sweet.

If you can't get enough of briny flavors, you need to make your own gravlax. It's silly easy.

And no oven was turned on in the making of this post.

This post is part of my monthly food challenge, #cooknewthings. Each month I cook something I typically wouldn't, and recount the experience on this blog. You can subscribe for the challenge + join us below.

How to make pesto

 
pistachio pesto a little gathering
 

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have noticed that I'm using a new hashtag. That hashtag is #cooknewthings.

I love to cook for my blog, but sometimes I make things that don't make their way to the recipe section. I use #cooknewthings to tag everything I make, including recipes I create just for myself.

Two months ago I decided that this hashtag would also be the inspiration behind a monthly cooking challenge. I started it so I would keep cooking new things, but also so others could join me!

May's prompt was pesto, but not just basil pesto because I think we're all really familiar with that one. This month was about making a pesto you've never had before. 

I chose to make Jessica Merchant's strawberry caprese with pistachio pesto.

The bulk of the pesto is, you guessed it, pistachios. First you pulverize the pistachios with basil, mint + other typical pesto ingredients. It's a thicker pesto, but you can always thin it down with more olive oil + herbs.

And then you can go the further step + pair the pesto with cherry tomatoes, strawberries and fresh mozzarella balls. OH YES. And by oh yes, I mean it's fresh, sweet, nutty + all around a great combination of flavors.

This pistachio pesto is just the beginning of more experimentation. I'm thinking an orange + mint pesto with lamb ragu or a sun-dried tomato one with chicken thighs is next. You see where I'm going.

I encourage you to join the #cooknewthings challenge, which you can right here. Sign up so you can hop on June's challenge!