On Shavuot, Grandma Hannah phoned me, and said, “Now that you’re a mother, you can bring something over to eat, too.” Looking back, that probably was the moment that marked the end of my youth, the sharp transition from the status of pampered granddaughter to a mom with duties.
I wavered for a week, and finally prepared smoked salmon. There isn’t a person in the world who doesn’t love this delicacy, which is even tastier when home-smoked. Five minutes of preparation and a night in the fridge yield a large golden plate. In my opinion, it’s the most festive dish you can turn up with when you’re invited to a meal. By the way, it’s exactly what I prepared the next day, too, when I was invited over to my mother-in-law’s.
1 whole salmon fillet
½ cup chopped dill
1 cup sugar
1 cup salt
1 cup fennel seeds
Several anise stars
1 Tbsp coriander seeds
1 Tbsp allspice seeds
1. Place the salmon on plastic wrap with the skin facing down. Sprinkle the chopped dill on top.
2. Mix the sugar and salt in a bowl, then sprinkle the mixture on top of the fish. Season further with the fennel, anise, coriander and allspice seeds.
3. Fold the plastic wrap over the fish and place in the fridge for the night.
4. The next day, remove the plastic wrap, and rinse the fish in cold water. Dry it well with a towel. Alternatively, remove the seasoning from the fish with a towel, so that some remains stuck to it.
5. To serve: Slice the fish into thin strips lengthwise, in the direction of the tail.
When wrapped in plastic wrap and kept in the fridge, the fish lasts about one week.