By Marcus Samuelsson | May 9, 2014

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This dish is a favorite at American Table Cafe and Bar at Lincoln Center. Adding a touch of comfort with the creamy grits and a familiar spice in the gravlax. Make the gravlax in advance so you can have a quick and easy weeknight dinner or impress your brunch guests with something that seems like it took a lot of effort but is quite simple.

Cured Salmon with Goat Cheese Grits

Servings: 4-6
Cook Time: 10M
Total Time: 8H


Chili Covered Gravlax
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chili powder
  • 1 1/2 pounds skin-on salmon fillet, in one piece, any pin bones removed
  • 5 cilantro sprigs , roughly chopped
  • 2 3-inch pieces of ginger , peeled and grated
Goat Cheese Grits
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups quick-cooking grits
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 4 -6 ounces goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
Pickled Red Onions
  • 1 firm red onion about 5 ounces
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 small springs of thyme
  • 1 small dried chili


For the Gravlax:

Combine the salt, fennel seeds, sugar and chili powder in a small bowl and mix well. Place the salmon in a shallow dish and rub a handful of the salt mixture into
both sides of the fish. Sprinkle the salmon with the remaining mixture and cover with the cilantro and ginger. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 3 hours at
room temperature.
Transfer the salmon to the refrigerator and let cure for 12 hours. Scrape the seasonings off the salmon. Thinly slice the salmon on the bias.

For the Pickled Onion:

Slice the onions. Peel and thinly slice the onion into approximately 1/4" moons.
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Turn the heat to low-medium. Transfer water to a container with a lid with salt, sugar, vinegar, thyme and chili. Stir to dissolve.
Add the onions to the jar and stir gently to evenly distribute the flavor The onions will be ready in about 30 minutes, but are better after a few hours. Store in the refrigerator. They will keep for several weeks but are best in the first week.

For the Grits:

In a heavy saucepan, bring the water and salt to a boil over high heat. Stir in the grits and butter. Bring back to a boil.

Add the cream and decrease heat to low, simmering for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture is creamy and thick. Remove the pan from the stove and whisk in the goat cheese until melted. Serve with sliced gravlax, 1 teaspoon pickled onions and garnish with dill.

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