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Do Something Different with Salmon: Gravlax!

If you have a stockpile of Alaskan sockeye salmon, stop hoarding it, and turn it into a culinary delight with this Scandinavian recipe for gravlax!   What’s that, you say? No, not lox, as in lox and cream cheese, but similar. Gravlax is a traditional Scandinavian way to cure salmon.  The name comes from the real traditional way to prepare it: burying salmon (lax) in a salty grave (grav). But we needn’t bury fish in the yard, let’s just stick to some pans and plastic wrap this time around. First, do yourself a favor and start with salmon that you know has been taken well care of and frozen as fresh as possible.  There is very little processing done, so the final product is only going to be as good as the quality of fish you start with.  Using frozen fish also assures that any parasites within the fish have been killed. You’ll need: a filet or two of fresh-frozen salmon, skin-on and fully thawed in the fridge (this dish is salty and very thinly sliced so a little goes a long way), lots of dill, some salt, pepper and sugar, plastic wrap and a shallow dish that the filet will fit in, plus one more to place on top. Additional spices are sometimes used, such as cloves or juniper berries, but we wanted to really taste the salmon, so just went with the plain, dill version.       First, place the fish in a shallow pan (after you’ve completely thawed it in the fridge), skin side down.  Mix 5-6 Tbsp salt, 1-2 Tbsp sugar and 1/2 tsp pepper and sprinkle over the fish.  Pack the dill on top, completely covering the...

2016 Season Update

Our 2016 rafting and fishing season has been busy and varied.  We just got out of a crazy week packed with trips, are starting to put the finishing touches on our new outpost (more on that soon!) and are awaiting the second Sockeye run along with all the others obsessively checking the bridge and river for fish! The King Salmon season closed early this year due to low King numbers coming in downriver.  It was a bit of a blow to all the local sport-fishermen; guide services and local small businesses especially.  The parking lot at the Gulkana River bridge, packed initially, cleared out almost overnight and gone were both the King fishing business, and the money usually spent on related other things for lodging, meals, etc.. Salvaging our season and making up for cancelled trips (some people only want to catch that monster King Salmon!!) was foremost on everyone’s minds as we started to adjust to a season without Kings; booking more scenic trips, running more shuttles for other rafters and assuring people that Sockeye Salmon are just as fun to catch (and as tasty!) as King Salmon. I can say that there have been a few parties this summer that really reminded us why we got into this business in the first place.  Teaching first-time fishermen and women the ropes and watching as they excitedly caught their first salmon, seeing a Swiss family enjoying river scenery together and being enthralled to see dozens of eagles flying overhead and fighting over fish on the bank, and people genuinely thankful and glad for the experience we helped them to have are among the things we’ll take from the...

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