Whenever I went to Grossingers, I always chose pickled lox as an appetizer. "'The belly is the filet mignon of salmon," said Mark Federman, owner of Russ & Daughters on New York's Lower East Side. "When pickling feel the fish to see when it is ready. We pickle our fish and onions separately and thin the sour cream with a little buttermilk."
Although it will not taste as good as wild salmon that has been salt-cured for months, you can cure lox on your own with farm-raised salmon. Rub 4 tablespoons of kosher salt into the surface, cover, weigh it down and keep it in the refrigerator, turning occasionally for 8 days.
For those who are truly adventurous, they can make a pastrami lox cure as they do at Ossie's Table in Boro Park, Brooklyn, with white peppercorns, black peppercorns, ground black pepper, whole and ground coriander, sugar, vegetable oil and fresh chopped garlic. For this you need a smoker. But, for those who love a good pickled salmon, there is no recipe better than that at Russ & Daughters, who will also overnight ship the real thing. 1-8OO-RUSS229.
2 pounds salt-cured wild pacific salmon, a.k a. belly lox
2 large Spanish onions, peeled and sliced in rounds
5cups cold water
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup mixed pickling spices, including coriander seed, mustard seed, dill seed, allspice, bay leaf dried chili pepper
1. Soak the lox overnight in cold water in the refrigerator, changing the water once.
2. Cut the lox pieces in half-pound chunks. Place in a glass bowl, layering them with the onion slices.
3. In a mixing bowl place the water, vinegar, sugar and mixed pickling spices. Stir by hand until the sugar dissolves. Pour the mixture over the salmon and let stay out on the counter top overnight so that the pickling process starts to work. Next morning refrigerate for 2 days or until ready to use. Serve as is or with the following cream sauce.
Yield: 8 servings
Russ & Daughters Sour Cream Sauce
2 cups good quality sour cream
1/2 cup buttermilk (about)
2 tablespoons marinade from above
In a glass bowl place the sour cream, buttermilk and marinade. Mix well. If it is too thick, add a little extra buttermilk.
Yield: about 2 1/2 cups
Jewish Cooking In America with Joan Nathan
26-Part Cooking Series
by Maryland Public Television,
Frappe Inc. And Joan Nathan
Begins September 1998 on PBS
Reprinted by permission.
This page created September 1998
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