Citrus-Cured Salmon

Ever since he was Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations Cleveland episode, making pained faces at having to eat at a Cincinnati chili chain restaurant, I’ve increasingly become a fan of Michael Ruhlman. The writing on his blog is enthusiastic and engaging, and is now one of the few food blogs I actually read these days.

So I checked out his book, Twenty, at the library, and I may actually have to purchase a copy of this one. And I don’t buy cookbooks. It made me feel like I, a non-cook, might, possibly, maybe, actually could learn to cook. By distilling cooking into twenty essential concepts, he makes cooking seem approachable.

This book includes a recipe for citrus-cured salmon. I love cured salmon. When I attend a catered event and find cured salmon served, my day is made. Because that’s the only time I ever have cured salmon. I’m not even sure where to get it if I wanted some right now. The grocery store? I have no idea.

His recipe looked so easy. And then salmon was on sale at Whole Food. FATE.

The recipe is posted in the internet, and I followed it pretty much to the letter, so I’m not going to reproduce here. This is the final product:

Cured salmon, so tasty with cream cheese and a bagel! At home!

It worked!

I think!

I don’t know!

Curing salmon means packing it in salt and sugar and seasonings, and refrigerating it for 24 hours. And then you can eat it. No heat applied. Is that cooking?

Is it safe to eat? Well, I ate it, and I didn’t die, so there’s that.

It tasted right. In fact, it tasted pretty good. I’m not sure why I felt hesitant about it, when I am an enthusiastic consumer of sushi, after all.

There was one other problem, though, which is that I’m the only one here who apparently likes cured salmon. Citrus-cured salmon for one, this is not. And even though I liked it, it’s not one of those things I can eat all day long. Not like coffee. Or Cheez-Its.

Fortunately it seems to freeze well.