It can be quite daunting to start cooking with unfamiliar ingredients, but if you're interested in incorporating gin into more of your recipes, then stick with us. We're starting off with something that we think is relatively simple, mainly because it doesn't requite any heat, just some patience!
There are many ways to cure a fish, but this one adds beauty as well as flavour, as you'll see when you slice into the intensely pigmented fish to reveal radiant slices that are sweet, tart and savoury all at once. The gin adds its own particular flavours, and for a Scandinavian vibe, you could serve shots alongside your fish, as traditionally a similar herbal spirit, Akvavit, might be served.
This makes an eye-catching canapé at a party (you can scale up the recipe for larger events), or keep it to yourself and eat heaps of slices for lunch. Perfect as an open sandwich - Smørrebrød - on rye bread and it could even be made with wild salmon, too!
Does this take your fancy? Keeping reading for the recipe!
(serves 8-10 people)
800g fillet of trout
100g light brown sugar
175g coarse sea salt zest of an unwaxed lemon zest of an unwaxed orange
4 tablespoons Catford Gin
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon caraway seed or dill seed
300g raw beetroot 30g fresh dill
Check the trout fillet for any remaining bones, keeping an eye open for the tiny pin bones which you can whip out with tweezers.
Lay the trout skin-side down in a baking dish - try to find a dish that will accommodate the piece of fish whole, although you can halve it if you need to.
Put the sugar and salt into a bowl with the orange and lemon zest and the Catford Gin. Crush the peppercorns and caraway and add those too. Wash and grate the beetroot, and roughly chop the dill, then stir both into the marinade.
Spread the mixture over the fish and rub in well with your hands (you might want to wear latex gloves if you are averse to 'beetroot hand'). Wrap a piece of cling film over the fish and put it in the fridge for between 36 hours and 72 hours - the longer you leave it, the more dense and fully flavoured it will become - it's a matter of taste.
Remove the cling film and lift the fish out onto a board, brushing off the marinade as you go. (At this point, you can keep the fish in the fridge for up to a week without it curing further.) Use a long sharp knife to slice the trout thinly at an angle and, as the knife touches the skin each time, lift away the slice.
Serve on rye bread with cream cheese or sour cream, and of course a shot of ice cold Catford Gin!