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Food styling by Heather Shaw

Michael Crichton

Gravlax is traditionally served with a mustard sauce, but you can give it a modern kick by using a creamy horseradish sauce instead: Mix 1 cup sour cream with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of fresh or jarred horseradish and a pinch of caraway seeds.

Servings: 6 to 8

Ready time: 24 hours, 10 minutes (including curing time)

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds Atlantic salmon, very fresh, never frozen

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup kosher salt

Zest of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons vodka or aquavit

1 cup chopped dill

Method

Rinse salmon and dry with paper towels. Place in a rectangular glass baking dish. Sprinkle with sugar, salt and lemon zest. Drizzle with vodka or aquavit. Cover salmon with a blanket of dill, then cover dish with plastic wrap. Using heavy cans or bricks wrapped in foil, weigh fish down and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Remove fish from baking dish and place on a cutting board. Using a paper towel, wipe salmon down, removing seasoning from all sides (a little will still cling to the fish in places). Remove skin from salmon by running a sharp knife horizontally between fish and skin. Discard skin and cut salmon into slices. Serve with a spoonful of horseradish cream sauce and homemade or store-bought crackers.

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