This recipe takes about one full day or longer to complete.
One large Pacific or Alaskan Salmon filet, about 2 pounds or half of a salmon cut length wise. Cleaned of course don't you dare use a Farmed Fish for my recipe!
750ml bottle of good quality Aqvavit * substitute posted below but I don't really recommend it I mean it'll do but isn't as good
About the same amount of fresh lemon juice. Something like bottled Real Lemon is fine if you don't have fresh lemons.
Lemon Pepper Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt, Kosher is fine if you don't have Sea Salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
mind you the amounts of ingredients must be adjusted to the size/weight of the salmon you use
One large, non metal pan, big enough to lay the salmon flat and about 2 inches or more deep. I use a large glass lasagna pan.
Lay the fish skin side down in the pan and cover with the Aqvavit. If a little of the top of the fish isn't in the liquid that's OK, just baste it till it gets good and wet.
Shake/sprinkle a thin layer of the Lemon Pepper Seasoning on the entire top. If some floats off into the Aqvavit that's OK.
Let the fish marinate for at least 3 hours, no more than 6 hours. If you live in a cool bug free climate no need to cover and refrigerate. If you don't then you should cover and refrigerate, which means the marinate time is closer to the 6 hours. Now and then baste the fish with the liquid that's in the pan, the Lemon Pepper Seasoning will float around that's OK.
In a non metal bowl mix the lemon juice, salt, sugar and water measuring about half the amount of lemon juice.
When the marinade time is up, I remove the fish to a clean platter so I can drain and clean the pan in which it marinated. Do not rinse the fish, do not pat dry, it's OK if some of the marinade clings to the fish.
Put the fish, skin side down, back into the pan.
Pour the lemon juice/salt/sugar/water mixture over the fish. You want the fish to be just covered, so add more water if needed.
Place the pan into a cold oven, turn on the temp to 350º commit to staying in the kitchen keeping an eagle eye on the fish. The cooking time is critical Most ovens have a glass window in the door so you can watch as the liquid heats and begins to simmer. As the liquid comes almost to a boil, baste the fish if it isn't covered in liquid.
Damn I wish I could say "Simmer for X number of minutes" but I can't. Sorry. The fish is done when it turns pale and is just barely fork flake...flake fork...JUST BARELY able to be flaked with a fork.
Remove from the oven, drain the liquid from the pan. Do not rinse do not pat dry.
While the fish is still hot cover very snug with aluminum foil. Lay the foil snugly on top, do not wrap the fish in the aluminum foil. Place some soup cans on their sides on top, this is to weigh the fish down and compact the flesh as it chills.
Put the whole thing in the fridge for at least 12 hours.
Transfer the chilled fish to a nice platter or plank or plate. There may be some "fish Jelly" clinging to it, just gently wipe it away, do not rinse it.
Pretty it up if you like with some sprigs of fresh dill or parsley, maybe some super thin slices of lemon or just what ever garnish you like.
Serve with your fave crackers, toast points, bagel chips, Melba Toast etc. with thin sliced onion if you like, a soft cheese like Philly or Brie if you like.
Any left overs (!!??) will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.
* Substitute for Aqvavit: to a 750ml bottle of good quality Vodka add a small handful of fresh Caraway Seeds. Let it soak for a few days, till the vodka absorbs the flavor of the caraway. Strain out the seeds before using the Vodka.
Mary and Baby