Submitted by Jonathan Shakhmoroff
Homemade gravlax with several subtle hints, of spice, lemon, dill, and smokiness.
Wash salmon and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Carefully make 2-inch cuts in the salmon skin every 3-5 inches. Try not to cut into the salmon as it may affect some slices later.
Create spice mixture of lemon zest, salt, sugar, black pepper, sweet paprika, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic power, and onion powder. Mix thoroughly.
Lay out two 40-inch lengths of plastic wrap overlapping long edge by approximately 2-inches to create a 22-inch by 40-inch sheet on plastic wrap.
Using 1/3rd of the spice mixture and leaving a few inches to the edge of the plastic wrap, lay out the spice mixture on the plastic wrap to the size and shape of your salmon.
Place the salmon skin-side-down onto the spice mixture and evenly cover the salmon with rest of the spice mixture.
Cover the salmon in jalapeno rounds and then cover with dill bunch.
Wrap the salmon tightly with the plastic wrap. Add 2-3 additional layers of plastic wrap.
Place the wrapped salmon in an aluminum foil tray and place that in the fridge. Put weights on top such as cast-iron pots, cans, bricks, or any combination of what you have available.
Cure time will primarily depend on the thickness of the salmon. On a thin piece of baby salmon, approximately 1.25-inches thick, 48-54 hours is plenty. For larger salmon, especially cuts close to the neck where the salmon can come closer to 2-inches thick, I would recommend a cure time of 72 hours. The salmon should be flipped halfway through the cure process.
After cure, unwrap, wash, and dry the salmon.
Slice, serve, and enjoy.