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Who knew how easy it could be to cold cure salmon? Last week I put an extra chunk of fish into a briny mix of seasonings and two days later it emerged with glorious, irridescent pink-orange flesh. Just a wisp of the stuff was so rich and intensely flavored that we savored it in small bites — curled atop a cheesy cracker, for example, or chopped and mixed into deviled eggs.* I’m sorry there’s no photo evidence, but we devoured it before I remembered the camera. Here’s the recipe:

Recipe: Home-Cured Salmon

½ pound salmon, preferably a square-shaped piece / 3 tbls kosher salt / 3 tbls brown sugar / 1 tbls white sugar / 2 tbls pernod / 1 tbls anise seeds (above) or fennel seeds / fresh-ground black pepper

Rinse fish under cold running water and pat dry. Debone and remove any remaining skin. Mix salt and sugars and pour half onto a generously-sized piece of plastic wrap, in a shape that approximates your cut of salmon. Place fish over the mixture and spread remainder of salt and sugar on top side. Sprinkle with Pernod and fennel seeds and several grindings of pepper. Wrap tightly and place between two heavy plates or other heavy flat objects. Refrigerate and flip the entire thing at 24 hours. It is done when the fish flesh is firm throughout, usually 48 hours but up to 72 hours. When done, rinse off seasonings and slice thinly when before serving. Lasts two weeks wrapped and refrigerated. Adapted from Michael Ruhlman.

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