St. James Hotel's Christmas Eve Buffet: Cured Salmon

1:45 PM, Dec 23, 2009   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn.-- This morning, Executive Chef Michael Norman from the St. James Hotel stopped by our kitchen with a tasty preview of their Christmas Eve buffet.  He also showed us how to prepare their signature cured salmon.

The historic St. James Hotel is conveniently located about an hour from the Twin Cities along the bluffs of the Mississippi River in Red Wing, Minnesota. The St. James offers 61 guest rooms and three distinct dining options including the Veranda Café and Patio which overlooks the Mississippi River, the Port, which serves dinner Tues-Saturday and Jimmy's Pub which is open daily for cocktails and appetizers and offers live music on Fridays. To make lodging or dining reservations please visit or call, 651-388-2846, 800-252-1875 or 651-227-1800 from the Twin Cities.

Cured Salmon

6 servings

750 g (26 oz) fresh salmon filet with skin on
85 g (3 ¼ oz) sugar
120 g (4 oz) salt iodized
8 tbs chopped dill
2 tbs Jim Beam Bourbon
1 tsp Ground Cloves
Orange Zest from 1 Orange
1 tsp crushed white pepper

2 tbs mild Swedish mustard
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbs sugar
1½ tbs red wine vinegar
salt, white pepper
200 ml (1 cup) oil (not olive oil)
chopped dill

Scale the salmon and remove the small bones, but leave the skin on. Make a few cuts in the skin so the marinade will penetrate from below. Mix salt, sugar, pepper and sprinkle it beneath and on top of the salmon filet along with plenty of dill and orange zest. Place a weighted cutting board on top of the salmon filet and let it marinate at room temperature for 2-4 hours. Then refrigerate for about 48-60 hours, turning the salmon filet a few times. Rinse the salmon in cold water. Cut into thin slices without getting too close to the skin, so the dark salmon is included.

Gravlax sauce is served alongside the dill-cured salmon. Mix the mustard, sugar and vinegar and season with salt and fresh-ground pepper. Stir vigorously, while pouring on the oil in a steady, thin stream. When the sauce has attained a mayonnaise-like consistency, stir in the chopped dill. 

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