You know, that thing with the salmon... (French Fridays with Dorie: Dilled Gravlax with Mustard Sauce)

After whole salmon in a jar debacle, I am not sure that everyone in my world was ready for another cured salmon recipe.

I was pretty confident that this one was going to be a winner, but the others... not so much.

As far as preparation goes, this one was rather simple - relying on time rather than technique to get the job done.

Spices, herbs, salt and sugar all joined in cure a hunk of salmon over the course of three days. The fishmonger decided that 4 ounces of salmon was close enough to a pound when she filled my order (which I didn't discover until I was already home) - I was a little worried about how that was going to affect the curing time, but it all worked out in the end...

This was one of those "fix it and forget it" kind of dishes - for which I was very grateful. The mustard sauce took about three minutes to put together. Paired with some thinly sliced homemade rye and capers, this made a great addition to the holiday table and seemed to be a hit on our end of the table.

Apparently, it was enough of a hit that it was never passed down to the other end of the table - possession is 9/10's of the law and all that...

Now that Christmas is over, I must now face the reality that another year is coming to a close.

It was a bit of a crazy year - the highs were high and the lows were low.

Love ones were lost in quick succession. Stuff happened.

Milestones were celebrated - My baby graduated from high school. I flipped decades on the odometer of life.

We enjoyed another year of good health.

Looking over the past year, I have to say that the highlight was that time when a bunch of Doristas converged on Seattle. That side trip up to Vancouver to meet Dorista Teresa ranked pretty high on the list too.

Yeah, that time.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I am sure: Doristas rock. Totally.

I hope to get the opportunity to meet some of the crew in the coming year - ahem, Miss Toronto...

The Dude's daughter is getting married in five months. The celebration of a new beginning is something to look forward to and I am sure that will keep life interesting in the months to come. Runner Girl and Culinary Kid are plodding along in their journey to independence.

Beyond that, I am not sure what the year ahead will bring.

Am I ready? Probably not. Some things just can't be planned - you just have to improvise and roll with it as things come up, right?

Not that I would know anything about improvisation or changing things up...

The above bûche de Noël was this holiday's insane baking project. Stella Parks over at The Brave Tart posted a great tutorial for making an Eggnog inspired yule log on her site recently.
Have a safe and Happy New Year my friends!
Peace out.
This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie. The recipe for Dilled Gravlax with Mustard Sauce can be found here on - this one was published in Bon Appetit back in 2004!


  1. Hope you had a great Christmas Cher! This gravlax was terrific wasn't it. Wishing you a Happy New Year!

  2. You talking to me??? Oh Cher I HOPE I get the chance to meet you in person this coming year! We can plot our rogue recipes together over a glass of wine! Much love and big hugs - wishing you all the best for 2014 XO

  3. LOL, I hope you were at the lucky end of the table! You're right, meeting up in Seattle was definitely a highlight of my year! Happy New Year, Cher!

  4. I just decided that I was going to make gravlax . . . I think it will be a great start to my resolution to try new things. Wishing you all the best in the new year, whatever it brings. But it sounds like it will bring you a lot.

  5. Yes, this is good! I made too much for the in-the-jar recipe and too little for this - but will definitely make both again! Happy New Year Cher!!

  6. Seattle was definitely a highlight in my year, too, Cher! Dorista’s do rule!! Your gravlax looks wonderful, as does that beautiful Bûche de Noël…I would love to give that a try next year! My gravlax is in the fridge curing…it will be a French Saturday for me this week!
    Wishing you, Joe, Runner girl and Culinary kid a most wonderful New Year…filled with new and exciting things and good health!

  7. Wow, your Bûche de Noël looks wonderful. Like Kathy, I would love to give that a try next year. I attended a small dinner party during the holidays where the hostess had made one. Our table of eight just devoured it in 10 minutes - all that work, But, she received accolades so I hope you had family members bowing at your feet. All of us who gave Gravlax a go seemed to really enjoy it. Bad girl not to share. Yes, Seattle was a highlight. As you all know it was the first time I realized I could really be happy. And, I have been every since my return. Doristas - lifesavers, that's for sure. Happy and Continued Healthy New Years to your family. Exciting about Joe's daughter. Dad will be nervous, trust me on that.

  8. Since you seem to have joined Team Cured Salmon, it's good the gravlax was on your end of the table. I'm impressed that you made the switch after your experience with Salmon in a Jar. And a double (or triple) WOW for that buche de noel. Awesome!

    I wish 2014 is filled with good things for you and your family. I admire your gusto for improvisation. Makes life much less stressful, no? I completely agree with you that Seattle and meeting the Doristas was a highlight of 2013. What an experience. It makes me smile just thinking about it now.

    Happy New Year, Cher!

  9. It's been quite a year and the Doristas have been a big part of it. I'm happy that we ended the year with a recipe which seems to have been a hit with everyone. Looking forward to another year of tasty recipes in 2014.

  10. I agree Cher, Seattle was one of the year's highlights. My year was an up and down affair too. Maybe that's just what happens after a certain point in life. Who knows what 2014 will bring. A wedding for your family, a baby for ours. There is some happiness to count on! A friend brought Buche de Noel to Thanksgiving. Everyone was impressed and it was delicious! Glad your gravlax was a hit. Happy 2014 to you and yours!

  11. So funny that it didn't make it to the other end of the table. Sounds like you had quite a year Cher,.. I had one of those last year. Hope you have a calm and restful 2014 and I'm game for an East Coast get together.

  12. ahem, Miss Indeed. yeah, 2013. Stuff happened. Even salmon in jars. Debacles. Happy New Years my friend. Doristas do indeed rock!

  13. A perfect recipe to end the year. I agree with all the above Doristas, that meeting in Seattle made this year so special. I look forward to more fun in 2014, and wish you and your family a very Happy New Year.

  14. Yup- that Seattle trip was sort of like a dream. In a lot of ways. A fabulous unexpected dream that reminds us that dreams do happen. And surprises, wonderful good surprises, are still out there. And "yes, Virginia" people are really good and out there to find and you CAN trust them. Love it. And count me in if you are heading up to see Mardi. I will have Nana jump in the minivan and we can do a road trip :) Now the gravlax. Thank goodness it was the fix it and forget it, as that was all I could deal with on Xmas week. So so fab and my guys loved it. Thought it was funny (laughing WITH you) that the fish monger gave you such a wee piece. Seems like I always have things rounded up and get charged way more than I had wanted to spend. But no leftovers means something was loved. Victory is yours. Happiest of 2014 to you- look forward to "seeing" you each Friday ~

  15. I'm resolved to make this. I don't know why my brain rejects the idea of curing my own fish. Can't decide if i'm better off with frozen salmon from the commissary (gulp) or boney salmon from the Italian supermarket. One of these days...

  16. Happy New Year Cher! FFWD and Doristas are the best - I'm hoping to meet some this next year. It is funny to me how the FFWD has become such a part of my life and how much I look forward to seeing what everyone is doing and cooking - where else could I find kindred spirits - not where I live people don't cook here.

  17. I finally got to this. Kind of mixed, though the people that love salmon and gravlox loved it! The rest loved the home made pumpernickel. Yes, it's been quite a year. Maybe I'll get to the gathering of Doristas! Happy New Year!

  18. I really hope to have the time to make an insane Buche de Noel one year. Yours is absolutely lovely. There wasn't enough gravlax to go around at my house either. I think I'll have to make it again.


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