BLUEBERRY TARRAGON GRAVLAX

Blueberry Tarragon Gravlax || Easy curing recipe for salmon that is delicious and a rich shade of purple. Gravlax (lox or cured salmon) is perfect with bagels, rye bread, cream cheese, fresh vegetables, crackers, herbs, pickled things and capers! || creamandhoney.ca
Blueberry Tarragon Gravlax || Easy curing recipe for salmon that is delicious and a rich shade of purple. Gravlax (lox or cured salmon) is perfect with bagels, rye bread, cream cheese, fresh vegetables, crackers, herbs, pickled things and capers! || creamandhoney.ca
Blueberry Tarragon Gravlax || Easy curing recipe for salmon that is delicious and a rich shade of purple. Gravlax (lox or cured salmon) is perfect with bagels, rye bread, cream cheese, fresh vegetables, crackers, herbs, pickled things and capers! || creamandhoney.ca

Greetings lovely humans. I've made a purple fish for you because dining on purple and blue foods feels rich and elegant but simultaneously childlike, reminding me of sour blue gum balls and grape jello. It sits between the balance of classy and unrefined and as a person I too reside within that spectrum, sometimes closer to one side or another depending on the day. 

Me: “Am I classy?"                                                                                                                                                             Friend: “Hmmmm. I would say that you always treat people with class."                                                               Me: “Sooooo I'm not classy."                                                                                                                                         Friend: “Well you're not–not classy. It's a good thing. You're very down to earth."                                                   Me: “Yeah, that's good. I still want to be classy though. I think I just trip and fall too much. Classy people are never clumsy. That's what's holding me back. Right?!"                                                                                           Friend: “I think you're great the way you are."   (translation: you are not classy, nor will you ever be. It's okay though.)

This friend is a very classy human which is why she'd never agree with any perceived negative qualities such as my clumsiness. She never talks about poop or periods or burps loud and she always wears lipstick two shades off her lip colour so it looks natural yet polished. I've never been that kind of person, I don't think I was born to be. As a kid I won a milk chugging contest, learned how to burp really loud on purpose and arm wrestled all the boys in my grade beating every single one (because none of them had gone through puberty yet and I was strong from carrying my baby brother and sister around). As a teenager I was always in fiery debates about sexuality, race, women, religion, anything that stirred people up. I was a crusader! Really I just couldn't keep my mouth shut and was trying to figure out the world which seemed cruel and unfair– your typical teenage angst. As an adult I have gained a some classiness. Or maybe peacefulness is more accurate. I focus on accepting what is, not fighting it. I hone my skills on creating a better and more joyful life. And I never chug milk anymore. But I do burp loudly when alone or around people who know me very well. It's part of my charm? In a world so full of social media and it's contrived artificiality I aim to allow my flaws, to be uncovered and exposed. To be me in whatever state of myself is coming forward that day. And to always hold the most compassion for myself and others.

I've been contemplating the thought of becoming the person you dream to be– because maybe that person is who you really are. It's how we move forward and know what steps to take next, to come closer to our truer selves. So who exactly is that person? What do they think about? What do they do in their free time? What kinds of people do they surround themselves with? What do they talk about? What do they wear? What do they eat? How do they feel about themselves and others? How do they love and appreciate themselves and others? I did a journal entry about this person and it has really stuck with me. In the biggest way around how this future me treats herself– without disapproval or being hard on herself. Without investing time or energy into what others think. And always with love and understanding. I encourage you to ask yourself these questions and see what comes up. See what you can change today to become a little more of that person because they are ultimately who you really are. Personality is a bunch of characteristics we have constructed ourselves and we can choose differently if we want. We can't control what happens to us, but we can control how we react and the thoughts we focus on. It just takes some conscious awareness, compassion and desire to move forward into the unknown. These are some things to contemplate over a plate of purple blueberry fish. Sometimes things don't sound like they work... until they do. 

Blueberry Tarragon Gravlax || Easy curing recipe for salmon that is delicious and a rich shade of purple. Gravlax (lox or cured salmon) is perfect with bagels, rye bread, cream cheese, fresh vegetables, crackers, herbs, pickled things and capers! || creamandhoney.ca
Lemon zest || Blueberry Tarragon Gravlax || Easy curing recipe for salmon that is delicious and a rich shade of purple. Gravlax (lox or cured salmon) is perfect with bagels, rye bread, cream cheese, fresh vegetables, crackers, herbs, pickled things and capers! || creamandhoney.ca
Blueberry Tarragon Gravlax || Easy curing recipe for salmon that is delicious and a rich shade of purple. Gravlax (lox or cured salmon) is perfect with bagels, rye bread, cream cheese, fresh vegetables, crackers, herbs, pickled things and capers! || creamandhoney.ca
Blueberry Tarragon Gravlax || Easy curing recipe for salmon that is delicious and a rich shade of purple. Gravlax (lox or cured salmon) is perfect with bagels, rye bread, cream cheese, fresh vegetables, crackers, herbs, pickled things and capers! || creamandhoney.ca
Blueberry Tarragon Gravlax || Easy curing recipe for salmon that is delicious and a rich shade of purple. Gravlax (lox or cured salmon) is perfect with bagels, rye bread, cream cheese, fresh vegetables, crackers, herbs, pickled things and capers! || creamandhoney.ca
Blueberry Tarragon Gravlax || Easy curing recipe for salmon that is delicious and a rich shade of purple. Gravlax (lox or cured salmon) is perfect with bagels, rye bread, cream cheese, fresh vegetables, crackers, herbs, pickled things and capers! || creamandhoney.ca

My aunt Margaret always has the loveliest stories from travelling the world. One of my favourites is her recollection of Swedish Christmas. She told me people get together and go from house to house snacking on smorgasbords and having a drink at each one enjoying each other's company. Everyone has preserves, cured meats, pickled herring, gravlax, rye breads, meatballs, potatoes and glogg for all the indulge in. Apparently you must eat the julbord in certain stages– fish first, cold meats second, warm food third and then of course dessert. Don't even think about taking a meatball before you've had your gravlax. How rude! Doesn't that make you feel all warm and cozy inside? It is very hygge (to know more about hygge click here).

Blueberry Tarragon Gravlax || Easy curing recipe for salmon that is delicious and a rich shade of purple. Gravlax (lox or cured salmon) is perfect with bagels, rye bread, cream cheese, fresh vegetables, crackers, herbs, pickled things and capers! || creamandhoney.ca

For these quick + easy pickled onions go here!

Blueberry Tarragon Gravlax || Easy curing recipe for salmon that is delicious and a rich shade of purple. Gravlax (lox or cured salmon) is perfect with bagels, rye bread, cream cheese, fresh vegetables, crackers, herbs, pickled things and capers! || creamandhoney.ca

To make your own Montreal bagels click here!

Blueberry Tarragon Gravlax || Easy curing recipe for salmon that is delicious and a rich shade of purple. Gravlax (lox or cured salmon) is perfect with bagels, rye bread, cream cheese, fresh vegetables, crackers, herbs, pickled things and capers! || creamandhoney.ca
Blueberry Tarragon Gravlax || Easy curing recipe for salmon that is delicious and a rich shade of purple. Gravlax (lox or cured salmon) is perfect with bagels, rye bread, cream cheese, fresh vegetables, crackers, herbs, pickled things and capers! || creamandhoney.ca
Blueberry Tarragon Gravlax || Easy curing recipe for salmon that is delicious and a rich shade of purple. Gravlax (lox or cured salmon) is perfect with bagels, rye bread, cream cheese, fresh vegetables, crackers, herbs, pickled things and capers! || creamandhoney.ca

This is a very simple recipe and the preparation time is only fifteen minutes. A few ingredients, a blender, a fridge and voila! Purple brunch–lunch! Just make sure you plan accordingly since it takes 48 hours to cure in the fridge. This recipe is inspired by beet cured salmon which turns the exterior a rich red adding a hint of sweetness and subtle flavour. One of my favourite spots to eat in Toronto is Karelia Kitchen, a Nordic smokehouse and cafe where there are smorgasbords filled with fish, cured meats, breads, crackers, pickled things, and preserves. A little of everything to stimulate the mind and senses.

Now get out all your tiny bowls and mix and match to your heart's desire to create a different tasting bite every time. 

xx


BLUEBERRY TARRAGON GRAVLAX

the magic

inspiration:                      Karelia Kitchen in Toronto

the feels:                          elegant, salty, sweet, chewy, soft

eat with:                           smorgasbords, champagne, vodka,                                                     aquavit, rye or pumpernickel bread,                                                   bagels, crackers, pickles of all kinds,                                                 cheese (cream, goat, ricotta, brie), creme                                           fraiche, capers, lemon, vegetables                                                     (cucumber, avocado, tomato, onions,                                                 radish, sprouts), herbs, caviar, honey,                                               horseradish, mustard, potatoes

might like if you're into:      cold weather countries, Jewish delis,                                                  Swedish Christmas, rolling rivers,                                                    catching crayfish, wild berry picking. 

the science

makes 4 to 6 servings || prep time: 15 mins curing time: 24 to 48 hours

ingredients:

  • 1 fillet of fresh salmon 
  • 1 cup sea salt 
  • 1 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/4 cup fresh tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 cups frozen blueberries, thawed

method:

  1. Add all ingredients except the salmon to a blender or food processor. Blend until evenly combined. 
  2. Foil a baking dish just big enough for the fish and have to foil come up the sides. Pour in half the curing mixture. Add the piece of salmon and cover with the other half of curing mix. Cover the top with saran wrap tightly. Cover a couple bricks or heavy books with foil and set them on top of the fish. Put the dish in the fridge with weighted items.
  3. Keep in the fridge for 24 to 48 hours, turning the fish every 8 to 12 hours. The fish will be fairly firm when ready. 
  4. Remove it from the dish when ready and gently rinse the cure off under cold water. Slice gravlax into pieces and serve with bread, crackers and accompaniments. Wrap tightly in saran wrap and it will keep for a few days in the fridge. You can freeze if you aren't going to eat it within a few days but it is always best eaten fresh as freezing will change the texture.

Recipe adapted from Copper River Red Salmon, Blueberry Gravlax.

Everything Bagel recipe + adjustments I used can be found through my last post.

Make your own Quick Pickled Onions ready in 15 minutes.

STUFF + THINGS

BAGELS || STUFF + THINGS || creamandhoney.ca

M A K E || These Montreal bagels from My Second Breakfast. My friend sent me the recipe (Jewish + loves bagels, therefore an expert) after I visited her home and ate them with her fresh churned butter. Yes, she's basically a goddess. They are sooo good and I've eaten an unreasonable amount.           Recipe notes as per my Jewish Bagel Goddess: I used bread flour instead of all purpose and baked them for a couple minutes longer on each side until they were golden brown. The everything bagel spice is this one from The Kitchen Whisperer plus I added 2 tablespoons of caraway seeds and mixed them all together raw, no toasting. 

W A T C H || A video on the pinkest pink paint ever made. This guy has also made the yellowest yellow and the greenest green. But the pinkest pink is where it's at!                                                         Quote:  “I've been painting since I was five years old and I've seen a lot of pink. Thousands and thousands of people have used the pink and nobody's said they've seen a pinker pink. This stuff's really pink. I've created the pinkest pink..."   Pink count: 7. That's a lot of pink.  

F E E L || Like you're on drugs. This video called Galaxy Gates is a dreamlike experience made from paint, oil and soap (turn on sound). I want to touch it. I want to smell it.  I want to dive into. I want to let it carry me away. I want to be it. 

R E A D || Why you have so much diarrhea when you're on your period. I'm sorry you may come here for food and now you found poops. But now we know, because weren't we all curious about it?

M O V E || Yoga With Adriene is changing my life. Do you know her? If you don't, trust me, you want to. I've never been good at doing a yoga practice or other exercise at home until now. She has yoga for everything under the sun and her videos come in all lengths from five minutes to an hour. She is also the most beautiful soul and I am so grateful I found her. 

 

 

 

GRILLED CORN + POBLANO SALAD WITH SHRIMP

Grilled Corn + Poblano Salad with Tiger Shrimp || Delicious and healthy summer salad recipe grilled on the bbq. Perfect for parties and hot days! || creamandhoney.ca

Summer is here and I pray it's a long one. Toronto has been exceptionally rainy this year but the plants are lush and loving it. I spotted a few surprise mushrooms growing in my garden which I'm guessing is from the moisture. Their oblong tops are whimsical and look like they are from psychedelic posters with naked ladies and swirling colours.

Spicy, savoury, and a bit sweet– this meal is a perfect summer dish for rain or shine. It's not too heavy if it's hot out and your appetite is small. This recipe is adapted from Bon Appetit which on it's own is delicious. I marinated and grilled tiger shrimp and blended up an avocado-cilantro dressing for drizzling purposes. While we are at it, grill and caramelize some limes for cocktails (or mocktails) for a hint of smokiness. This paloma would be all the better for it.

Note about poblanos: Poblano peppers are a Mexican pepper originating from the state of Puebla. They are traditionally used in a dish called chiles relleños– poblano peppers roasted, stuffed with cheese, dipped in egg batter and fried. Served with salsa or tomato sauce, they are a delicious and gooey mess. Poblano peppers are green when picked fresh with a mild spiciness. They become ancho chiles when left to ripen to a red colour and dried. This recipe calls for fresh poblanos which can be difficult to find depending on where you are. If you must substitute, try mild jalapeños first, cubanelles if you prefer less heat, or green bell peppers if you desire no heat. I would not substitute ancho chiles. Although they are the same pepper, they taste completely different taking on a smoky flavour in their dried state.

Who knew corn husk could be so stunning. Isn't she beautiful?

Grilled Corn + Poblano Salad with Tiger Shrimp || Delicious and healthy summer salad recipe grilled on the bbq. Perfect for parties and hot days! || creamandhoney.ca
Grilled Corn + Poblano Salad with Tiger Shrimp || Delicious and healthy summer salad recipe grilled on the bbq. Perfect for parties and hot days! || creamandhoney.ca
Grilled Corn + Poblano Salad with Tiger Shrimp || Delicious and healthy summer salad recipe grilled on the bbq. Perfect for parties and hot days! || creamandhoney.ca
Grilled Corn + Poblano Salad with Tiger Shrimp || Delicious and healthy summer salad recipe grilled on the bbq. Perfect for parties and hot days! || creamandhoney.ca
Grilled Corn + Poblano Salad with Tiger Shrimp || Delicious and healthy summer salad recipe grilled on the bbq. Perfect for parties and hot days! || creamandhoney.ca

Summer barbecues are the best. The smell of food and smoke, people gathered together cracking beers, and soaking in the sunshine. Sometimes the barbecue bleeds into nighttime and takes on a  new wild vibe. I love it all.

Years ago on a hot July day, my best friend and I moved into a new apartment on one of the most beautiful streets in Toronto, Palmerston Avenue. The street is lined with large lamp posts and old homes with mysterious attic windows and front hanging balconies. I heard a story years ago about these street lamps. It was that a rich couple used to live on Palmerston and one day the wife began falling ill with dementia. On walks she would lose sense of where she was and become lost among the streets. Her husband bought elegant lamp posts to line their street to help her find her way home during a spell. I don't remember who told me this story but I thought it was tragically beautiful and stuck with me. After much research, I have found zero evidence to prove this story is true. I'll call it folklore (or someone trying to take me home from the bar). When you say you live on Palmerston Avenue to someone from Toronto they go all “ooooo" and “aaahh" and “what a beautiful street, your place must be amazing!". Our place was amazing... when it was built in the early 1900s. Unfortunately no work was put into it in sixty years. It was the eyesore of the street.

We were weak, sweaty and dehydrated after the ten hours of moving our stuff into the apartment. Our neighbours helped us with some furniture at the end like the lovely humans they were. This was good timing since we almost threw out a one of our beds from sheer fatigue. They invited us to join the barbecue they were having and we were eager to accept hunched over and expired from the heat and the day. We decided to take a quick shower before heading over so my roommate Alex got in first and one minute later started screaming. I ran into the bathroom to see the faucet from the bathtub had blasted clean off and there was water spraying out in every direction with Alex naked trying to shield herself from the explosion. “MEGAN MAKE IT STOP!!! MAKE IT STOP!!!" she screamed. “I'M TRYING!!! I'M NOT A PLUMBER!!! I DON'T UNDERSTAND TAPS!" I yelled back while shoving my hand on and around the water stream doing nothing to help it. I turned taps back and forth for awhile until the water was only a constant drizzle. We said fuck it and I took a trucker shower (washing my face and armpits in the sink) and went down to join the barbecue. They served us chicken and corn which we inhaled with a few beers each. An intravenous would have suited us just fine. Soon after this day we became very close with our neighbours, but I don't recall anyone speaking to us at this barbecue. Probably because we looked like sickly wet rodents huddled together shoving food into our mouths as quickly as possible. And that was the beginning of our life on Palmerston Ave. It only got weirder from there. But it gave us many memorable stories which include (but are not limited to):

  • a locked shed in the backyard with childrens' dolls and broken plates 
  • a bouncer/drug dealer called “Big Ron" who frequented out place at night unannounced looking for our neighbours who were always “out".
  • a creepy old man entering our apartment at 3 am because he heard the toilet running.

All true stories. Stories for another time.  

Grilled Corn + Poblano Salad with Tiger Shrimp || Delicious and healthy summer salad recipe grilled on the bbq. Perfect for parties and hot days! || creamandhoney.ca
Grilled limes || Grilled Corn + Poblano Salad with Tiger Shrimp || Delicious and healthy summer salad recipe grilled on the bbq. Perfect for parties and hot days! || creamandhoney.ca
Grilled Corn + Poblano Salad with Tiger Shrimp || Delicious and healthy summer salad recipe grilled on the bbq. Perfect for parties and hot days! || creamandhoney.ca
Paloma with grilled lime || Grilled Corn + Poblano Salad with Tiger Shrimp || Delicious and healthy summer salad recipe grilled on the bbq. Perfect for parties and hot days! || creamandhoney.ca
Grilled Corn + Poblano Salad with Tiger Shrimp || Delicious and healthy summer salad recipe grilled on the bbq. Perfect for parties and hot days! || creamandhoney.ca
Grilled Limes || Grilled Corn + Poblano Salad with Tiger Shrimp || Delicious and healthy summer salad recipe grilled on the bbq. Perfect for parties and hot days! || creamandhoney.ca

Now go soak in the sunshine and enjoy the summer while it's here, okay? 

xx


GRILLED CORN + POBLANO SALAD WITH SHRIMP

the magic

inspiration:                           fresh corn + hot sweaty days

the feels:                              spicy, sweet, savoury, light, fresh

eat with:                               palomas, margaritas, cucumber water,                                               citrus/herb water, fresh squeezed juice,                                             corona or sol, sangria, roasted                                                         potatoes, potato hash, steak, chorizo,                                                 cheese (cotija or feta), clams, crab. 

might like if you're into:       cantinas, inflatable water toys,                                                         learning about corn, backyard                                                         barbecues, rainbows after a storm.

the science

serves 4 || cooking time: 15 mins prep + resting time: 40 mins

ingredients:

                                                                                                                                                                                                salad

  • 5 corn, in husk
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • oil, for grill
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey (or agave)
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons water, start with 2 and add more as needed
  • good pinch of salt 

shrimp

  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper chile flakes

method:

  1. Turn on barbecue. Clean grate if needed and oil well.
  2. Mix everything under the shrimp heading (except for the shrimp) together and pour into a resealable bag or shallow dish. Add shrimp and toss well. Keep in the fridge covered or sealed for minimum 30 minutes. 
  3.  Grill corn (dry and still in husks, no need to soak in water) and poblano peppers until charred, turning every few minutes once each side is blackened. The corn takes between 10 and 15 minutes and will be blackened/ dark brown on all sides. The peppers take between 8 to 10 minutes and will have blackened crispy spots and feel tender. Remove and let all vegetables cool. 
  4. Shuck corn and cut off corn kernels into a medium sized bowl. Cut open peppers and remove seeds. Chop and add to bowl of corn.
  5. Remove shrimp from fridge and stab onto skewers. Grill shrimp on barbecue for 2 minutes per side. 
  6. Add all remaining ingredients (from avocado to salt) to a blender/food processor and blend well. Keep adding water tablespoon by tablespoon depending on how thick (dipping consistency) or thin (dressing consistency) you prefer. 
  7. Serve all separately and let people do what they want or mix salad, shrimp and dressing/dip together. Garnish with cut limes and cilantro if desired. 

 

Shrimp marinade + dressing adapted from The Recipe Critic.

Corn and poblano salad adapted from Bon Appetit