Everything Cured Salmon

Brad says that when he first cracked open a jar of Coquelicot N24 spice blend, it reminded him of an “everything bagel,” both in appearance and smell. He wanted to develop a recipe tin which he could infuse these flavors into his favorite bagel topping: cured salmon. That’s how “Everything Salmon” was born. I like to slather toasted flatbread with homemade labneh as the perfect vehicle for this delicately spiced salmon.

Coquelicot N24 – Recipe by Brad Farmerie, from “The Art of Blending” by Lior Lev Sercarz

Makes 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

1 side of salmon (with skin; about 3 pounds), pin bones removed
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup Coquelicot N24 spice blend, divided
2 bunches parsley, coarsely chopped (4 cups)
2 medium shallots, thinly sliced (2 cups)
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
3 tablespoons fennel seeds, toasted

Instructions

1. With a paring knife, make 1/2-inch deep slits in the salmon skin about every 3 inches. Cut the salmon into 2 pieces about two-thirds of the way down the salmon fillet (the skinnier portion will cure more quickly). Place the salmon, skin side down, on a rimmed baking sheet.

2. In a bowl, combine the sugar and salt. Spread 1/2 cup of the mixture evenly over both sides of the salmon. Sprinkle the flesh side of the salmon with 1/4 cup of Coquelicot spice blend.

3. In a bowl, combine the remaining 1/2 cup of the sugar and salt mixture with the parsley, shallots, jalapeño and fennel seeds and let stand for 15 minutes, then pack the mixture all over the flesh side of the of both pieces of salmon to form a crust. Place the fish on a wire rack on top of a baking tray, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. As the salmon cures, liquid will be drawn out of the fish. Once a day, baste the salmon with the juice that has collected at the bottom of the tray. The smaller tail piece will be cured in 2 days, and the larger piece will take about 4 days.

4. When the salmon has been cured, remove and discard the herb crust. Briefly rinse under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of the Coquelicot onto the flesh side of the fish, pressing gently to pack it onto the fish.Cover with plastic wrap until ready to serve.

5. To serve, use a sharp knife to cut the salmon into thin slices on the bias. Serve on flatbread, toast or bagels spread with labneh of cream cheese.