Norwegian flair in the deep French countryside – Influence Norvégienne au coeur de la Charente

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(En français plus bas)

We drove up to the Charente region last Saturday to celebrate my brother Dominic’s and his wife Catherine’s 60th birthdays. The Charente region is just an hour north. That’s where Cognac brandy is produced. Another corner favorite corner of my French heaven :0)qdfqdf

I mentioned Norway in the title, because since my nephew François “married” his lovely wife Henriette, it seems we eat more and more salmon around here. IMG_2272 _Snapseed IMG_2330 _Snapseed

So here is my brother’s gravlax recipe. It is simple, delicious and never fails to impress!IMG_2298 _Snapseed

For 10 people:

  1. Ask your fishmonger to cut two beautiful sushi grade salmon fillets (keep the skin on!). Rinse each fillet with clean water, dry them and make sure that there aren’t any bones left
  2. Mix 2 lbs of brown sugar with 2 lbs of salt and add freshly crushed black pepper (100g or 3 big tablespoons). Personally, I also rub each fillet with good Cognac.
  3. Pour the mixture in the bottom of a glass oven dish and place the first fillet skin down
  4. Pour some more of the mixture and place the second fillet on top, skin side up. Cover with what’s left of the preparation
  5. Cover your dish with plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge for 48 hours
  6. On D day, clean your fillets with paper towels and put them in a marinade made of olive oil and one lemon juice. Personally, I add two fists worth of chopped dill.
  7. After 12 hours, remove the fillets from the marinade, dry and slice them
  8. Serve with butter, lemon, capers, onion, cream, blinis etc…

I assure you it will be the best gravlax you’ve ever had!

Please do check Youtube videos to see how to slice your gravlax.

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Nous sommes allés en Charente, prés d’Angoulème le weekend dernier. Nous fêtions les 60 ans de mon frère Dominique et de sa femme Catherine. Je suis toujours épaté qu’il suffise d’une heure de route en France pour se retrouver dans un environnement si radicalement différent. Une excursion dans l’une des plus belles de nos campagnes… Un autre coin de mon paradis Français :0)

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Je parle ici d’influence Norvégienne car depuis qu’Henriette, la femme de mon petit neveu François, est arrivée dans la famille, il semble que nous mangions de plus en plus de saumon (et c’est tant mieux!!!)

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Je vous présente ici la recette de Gravlax de Dominique. Simple, délicieuse et à déguster sans modération! 

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Pour 10 personnes en entrée:

  1. Demandez à votre poissonnier de lever 2 beaux filets de saumon (écaillés mais avec la peau). Rincez les à l’eau claire, séchez les et vérifiez bien qu’il n’y a plus d’arrêtes 
  2. Mélangez 1Kg de sucre roux à 1Kg de sel et ajoutez 100g de poivre noir. Personnellement, je masse aussi mes filets avec du bon Cognac.
  3. Versez de cette préparation au fond d’un plat genre Pyrex et posez le premier filet face peau vers le bas
  4. Reversez du mélange et posez le second filet sur le premier, face peau vers le haut. Couvrez avec le reste de la préparation
  5. Couvrez d’un film plastique et laissez au frigo pendant 24 heures (jusqu’à 36 heures)
  6. Le jour J, rincez vos filets, séchez les et mettez les à mariner dans de l’huile d’olive avec un jus de citron. Personnellement, j’ajoute 2 poignées d’aneth ciselée. 
  7. Au bout de 12 heures, sortez les filets de la marinade, séchez les et tranchez
  8. Servez avec beurre, citrons, câpres, oignon, crème et autres accompagnements d’usage…

Je vous assure qu’il s’agira du saumon le plus souple et le plus délicieux que vous aurez mangé depuis longtemps!

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Attention, le plaisir de déguster du gravlax peut être gâché à cause d’une mauvaise découpe du filet en tranches! Je vous conseille d’aller sur Youtube pour visionner une ou plusieurs vidéos à ce sujet…

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58 Comments Add yours

  1. Made this over the weekend and it turned out great! Thanks for the inspiration. Post to follow…

  2. melanie says:

    I love Norway…🙂 J’y ai fait 2 séjours magnifiques et pendant le 2e, je me suis régalée avec un potage de saumon du N amsen river avec des patates du fjord, aneth et coriandre… simply divine!🙂 Et aussi le saumon frais grillé au miel et au thym arctique… total yummy!🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Tu as bien de la chance. Ma petite nièce (l’amie de mon neveu qui fait du bateau) est Norvégienne et j’ai des amis à Oslo. Encore une destination sur ma liste. Celle-ci semble plus probable que les autres comme j’ai des amis ET de la famille là bas…

  3. Janet Rörschåch says:

    I am making a smaller version of your salmon for our labor day weekend. Can’t wait.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Please let me know how it goes!! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

  4. Your photography is stunning!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You are very kind Mary!

  5. fatgirlkr says:

    I am in love with your new layout!!! I have only just realised that since you changed to your .com months ago, I never get an email about your latest posts. So please forgive me for your lack of dedication!!! I have missed you and your beautiful pictures🙂

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Of course I forgive you! I have a hard time reading all the blogs I like myself… Welcome back! You may want to sign-up again with a different e-mail address. That usually does the trick…😉

      1. fatgirlkr says:

        I will sign up with my business email address!

  6. Louise says:

    Oops… je viens de trouver la réponse ;-P

  7. Louise says:

    Un billet exceptionnellement beau (photos et recette). Dites… à part le cellulaire, qu’utilisez-vous comme caméra? Vous avez trouvé le truc pour créer de l’atmosphère avec le jeu de la lumière. Bravo!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Merci Louise! J’utilise un Canon 600D. Mon rêve est le Canon 5D… Peut être pour Noël si je suis sage😉

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Gabriela. I really enjoy reading yours as well!

  8. andmorefood says:

    the gravlax looks wonderful – as do the eyes on that little boy somewhere in the middle!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you so much Sonya!!

  9. Luffy Moogan says:

    Just LOVE gravadlax – my favourite way with salmon. I will definitely be trying this, thankyou Stephane!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks darling! Do try it. It is also my favorite way to eat salmon. + the smoked salmon you find around here is sooooo bad… Much better to make gravlax yourself…

  10. Gorgeous crowd you have gathered here…you can see it in their smiles….

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks and sorry for the late answer. It was a lovely day. Nothing better than real quality time with the ones you love😉

  11. The recipe is great, but I simply adore the photographs, which is so atmospheric!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you so much! It’s an easy place to take pictures of. Truly relaxing and colorful…

  12. cathynd95 says:

    What a beautiful place and fun time!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      It was a really nice evening indeed…😉

  13. Conor Bofin says:

    Lovely. I have holidayed in the region a number of times. It’s a beautiful place. You reflect the region beautifully in your excellent photography.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Conor! I’m glad this brought back good memories😉

  14. Lovely photos. How’s the diet going, BTW? Always nice to see you.

    janet

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Janet! The diet is going well. I am loosing very slowly but I already feel so much better🙂

  15. Lignum Draco says:

    Beautiful photography as usual and a super simple recipe. Thanks.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      😉

  16. ladyredspecs says:

    Loving the sophistication, missing my city self while travelling in remote Australia!!!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      That must be soooo special. I’ve been wanting to do that since Pricilla!😉

      1. ladyredspecs says:

        I keep the purple lamé handy just in case!

        1. My French Heaven says:

          🙂🙂

  17. saucygander says:

    I also want to live in your corner of the French heaven!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You can start by a visit. I’d be so happy to meet you!

  18. Beautiful photos. Gorgeous recipe.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks! I hope you try it!!

  19. Steve says:

    How big are those filets? I ask because the amount of salt and sugar sounds very high and I wondered if it were a typo? I have been making the same gravlax for years but use 1 cup each of sugar and salt for a 2Kg filet. Plus a heavy patio stone on top of the whole thing (under plastic wrap of course) to hasten the exodus of water. It is truly amazing and we have been unable to eat commercial smoked salmon ever since.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Usually 1,5Kg each, but I don’t worry about how much. All that matters is that you do half and half. I never put weight on it, but it’s a great tip and I will try it next time😉

      1. Steve says:

        Aha, that may explain it. I use a 5 kg. patio stone. It really accelerates the process by pushing the salt into the flesh and drawing out the water. Also, you only need to use enough salt to provide a base for the filet to lie on (about 2 cm.) and enough to just cover it by about 2 cm. I have never tried the post-production marinade of olive oil and lemon, but will do so this week. Great photos as usual!

    2. My French Heaven says:

      I modified the post to add the stone thing and a few precisions from my brother. He leaves it in the marinade for a whole day…

  20. Beautiful!! Love your photos and thanks for the recipe and the great hints about the ingredients! Looked like a wonderful celebration!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thanks Jennifer! You should try the gravlax next time you have guests. I promise you’ll be a huge success!😉

  21. juliabarrett says:

    I feel a green-eyed monster welling up inside. I want to live where you live and do all the fun things you do. And also be an outstanding photographer! Lucky you!

    1. My French Heaven says:

      You are way too kind my dear Julia! I can’t wait for you to come visit!!!😉

  22. lulu says:

    How delightful, all of it: the food, the place, the photos.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Thank you so much my dear Lulu!!!

  23. Janet Rörschåch says:

    As always, Stephane, stunning. You help me feel like I am right there with you, enjoying the beautiful French life.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      Well, darling Janet, I hope that one day you’ll be here with me for real!😉

  24. One of my favourite types of dishes! What camera do you use and do you use any filters? I love your photos.

    1. My French Heaven says:

      I use a Canon T3i. I use filters sometimes to give an argentix look to some of the shots. I use a program called Snapseed…

      1. I’ll have to look into Snapseed. Right now I use Gimp but it doesn’t have a lot of filters to use.

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