Well I have a great appetizer recipe for you. It’s all about salmon today as I have mentioned, and we’re going to preparing a Gravlax with a mustard ginger sauce. I think you’re going to find it absolutely delicious plus the gullet colors are just gorgeous. We can get started though on the garnish. What I like to do is always add some sort of simple and kind of easy garnish that really adds a little wow factor. So, what I’m doing is I’m going to try to pickle or we’re going to pickle this red onion. It’s very, very simple. We’re just slice the red onion and put it in with a little bit of sugar and some rice wine vinegar. It only takes about five minutes and the color pops and then it’s a great garnish to the appetizer, so let’s get started.
We’ll slice the onion, and what I’m looking for is I’m not looking for anything specific. I’m just going to do little simple slices here. We’ll peel this first, and typically what I’d like to do is make thin slices. But with this kind of garnish, you kind of want to have a little substantial slice so we’re going to do some real ones, and this is a beautiful red onion because of the color. Really, really nice! That’s good. I’m going to do this one as well and that should do it.
Now, I’m going to place my sugar and my rice vinegar in the sauce pan. We’ll turn this on and dissolve the sugar. Pour this in here, a little bit of sugar, get that dissolved. I use this garnish on a lot of things especially fish because it’s so great and that there’s a natural affinity sort of with an Asian flavor in this wonderful salmon. The salmon is very fatty, so that acid in the sugar also cuts it. It’s delicious. I’m going to grab my onions now and put them in the sauce pan.
If you can smell the vinegar, that is a great smell when it’s heated like that. This looks up like about enough. I'm planning to have a party but not that big of a party. Add a little more to cover. These are starting to steep, so I’m going to get back over to this part of my cutting board and we’re going to get started on that wonderful ginger mustard sauce. The nice thing about this is that, as I've mentioned, you can use this sauce on any type of fish. It’s just a wonderful sauce and I've also used it when I've had roasted fish, roasted salmon, halibut and even if you poach the fish. It’s wonderful on cold fish or actually even on roast as I've mentioned roasted fish.
So, what this requires is a lot of pungent ingredients. We’ve got some mustard. We’ve got some brown sugar. We have some cider vinegar. We have some dried mustard, vegetable oil, some ginger and then some cilantro as well as some parsley, sweet and savory great combination. So I’m going to start first with peeling my ginger.
There are several ways I think you’ve heard about peeling ginger. You can use an actual peeler but the other way is also, you can just easily use your spoon and it does the trick and you actually don’t waste a lot of a ginger. This was a trick my chef showed me in culinary school. She was always extremely frugal and she let us know that every single moment so if we had any waste, it’s a big deal to her.
Okay, that looks good, and don’t make a big deal out of this. Now, we’re going to need couple of slices of these. Don’t need a lot because ginger is so pungent, about two tablespoons is great, and I’m just going to give it a rough chop because we’re going to put the end product here in the Cuisinart.
It’s good to do all the work for us, so I’m going to place my ginger over to that side of my cutting board because we’re going to get to that a little bit. Now, we’re going to get started on the sauce. Now, if you don’t have a Cuisinart, you can certainly use a blender. In fact, the blender is a great piece of equipment as well. You’ll find there are two different types of textures. If you use a Cuisinart, the Cuisinart is going to be a thinner texture, the sauce will be much thinner because it doesn’t actually pump in a lot of air but if you use a blender, a blender is going to actually make it much creamier. It provides more air and a greater emulsification. The texture will be more like mayonnaise.
Today, I’m going to use the Cuisinart because it’s going to be a thinner texture, and that’s what I’m looking for. So, we’re going to add our mustard and who doesn’t love the Dijon mustard. It’s so great! I’m going to keep some back just in case because I'm going to probably have to taste this and make sure it’s not too strong because I’ve got some really potent ingredients here.
We’ve got some brown sugar. If you have light or dark, it doesn’t matter. I've got my cider vinegar and then I've got my dry mustard. We've got lot of mustard to this. I hear my onions are not steeping. They’re actually boiling so I'm going to check back here but I want you to take a look at the color of these onions. I’m going to bring this over to you. I don’t know if you remember but that was more of a burgundy color. Look at how the red is now actually popped and the smell, it’s great.
Now, we’re going to have to turn the heat down and then it will steep for a little bit longer. These are kind of thickly cut so I want to get them really soft. There, that’s the noise I’m looking for. So let’s finish up with our sauce. Now, I have the dry mustard, the vinegar as well as the brown sugar. The mustard is going to provide them an emulsion with this which is great so you don’t have to use as much oil. So we’re going to give it a whirl, and that looks nice.
So now I'm going to add my vegetable oil. I’m using vegetable oil because I don’t want to have a heavy flavor in the sauce. I really want all those strong flavors to come out on their own. If I did it in olive oil, the olive oil will be much too pungent. This is really more of a mild. It’s more of an Asian flavor and so I really don’t want the influence of olives. So, I’m going to slowly run my machine. I’m going to run my machine which will go very quickly and then I’m going to slowly pour my oil into this.
Now, I’m going to add my ginger and I am going to need some wonderful cilantro and some parsley and I like to do this. Now, I like to do this so just kind of take your knife, and that will get rid of all those kind of heavy stalks and if you see anything really large, you can also take those off as well. That’s about as much cilantros I’m going to need. And then I’m going to take some parsley. You can do the same thing but this is a little bit easier. And those are some rough stalk, rough stems right there we’ll get rid of that. Put it back in my herb jar. And so I’m going to give this a quick rough chop and then dump this in to the Cuisinart. Again, this makes life so much easier when you’ve got this kind of tools.
You can see the texture. It’s a rough kind of sort of rustic look. It looks very nice. If you used a blender, that would be completely emulsified and I like actually the speckles on this because this would be a nice addition or actually contrast with the salmon.
Now, I'm going to do a little taste to see where we at. That’s so great! What I’m going to do is add probably just a little bit more cilantro because I love it so much. I understand if either you love it or you hate it, the herb cilantro, and I think there are more people being introduced to it. So I think those that don’t care for it, I think those are in the minority.
It looks like perfection to me so we’re going to set this aside. I’m going to check on my onions, and then we’re going to plate up some wonderful appetizers for you. These are looking nice. The color, again, it’s really pretty! I'm just going to let them steep, turn off the heat now and let them steep for a bit.
Now, we’re going to get started making our appetizers. We’ve done a little bit of work to meet the ginger mustard sauce with actually pickled some red onions and now we have this beautiful smoked salmons or lox is actually we’re going to top this off this wonderful cracker with some cream cheese. Cream cheese is very simple. I used a whipped cream cheese because it’s really soft and then I added a couple of tablespoons of whipping cream to it, and I’m going to be generous here because this is an appetizer.
Just spread a little bit of that, actually a lot of that, cream cheese makes some nice bed for the salmon, and then we’re going to take this beautiful pink, luscious salmon mount them on top, and then I’m going to take my sauce and look at that, the texture is perfect just what I want, and you can see the cilantro in there. You could also use a squeeze bottle if you like, but I have my spoon so this is just fine. And then, add some of these lovely onions, and a sprig of cilantro. Lovely! Imagine how many platefuls of those all around the table before your guests come and they started enjoying.