Oh, August! A great time to spend with your friends and family, and brunch is a fantastic daytime, community meal: breakfast for some, lunch for others, but always delicious and on everyone’s schedule.
Instead of having it inside or scrambling to find a brunch spot with a patio, why not bring the party outside? Laying down a blanket on the beach or in the park is as good a spot for brunch as any. While you’re at it, why not enjoy some great bluegrass music or live Shakespeare or perhaps some French Opera? Here’s a list of some outdoor events around the Northwest that would be perfectly complimented by a little picnic brunch action:
Saturday, August 4 I Bluegrass On The Green – Mountlake Terrace, Washington
Saturday, August 4 I The 2012 Skagit River Shakespeare Festival’s Ironman – Mount Vernon, Washington
Saturday, August 11 I 4th Annual PEPSapalooza – Woodinville, Washington
Sunday, August 12 I French Opera Pique Nique – Seattle, Washington
Here in the Northwest, fresh salmon is bountiful, especially this time of year, and we find any excuse to eat it whenever we can. This Gravlox recipe, from our resident foodie Patrick, is a little less salty than your standard cured salmon, letting the flavor of the fish shine through. The whole process takes around 36 hours, but you can make it in advance, as it will keep for a few days in the fridge.
Gravlox, or Scandinavian cured salmon, is a great thing to pack along. While not the same thing as the common bagel accoutrement Lox, the concept is similar: raw, cured salmon. You can substitute it for lox on bagels for an easily-packed picnic, of course — but it also tastes great on crackers, toast or in omelettes! So, without further ado:
• 1 whole side salmon de-boned and cleaned
• 8 Tablespoons smokey scotch (I like Glenn Livette 12 year)
• 2 cups kosher salt
• 3/4 cups brown sugar
• 1 Tablespoon cracked pepper (optional)
• 1/4 cup fresh dill chopped
• 1 Tablspoons cracked Juniper berry (Optional)
Mix all dry ingredients and set aside.
Rinse your fillet with really cold water and dry with a paper towel.
1. Sprinkle two tablespoons of the scotch on the flesh side of your fillet and allow it to air for one minute.
2. Generously coat the flesh side of the fish with the dry ingredient mixture.
3. Wrap the fillet tightly in plastic wrap and place in a container large enough for it to lay flat skin side down.
4. Refrigerate for 6-8 hours
5. Unwrap fillet and scrape the salt mixture from the flesh
6. Rinse with very cold water and dry with a paper towel
Repeat steps 1-6 two more times (a total of about 36 hours). You are looking for the flesh when rinsed off to be translucent and firm to the touch. After the final rinse, slice your homemade Gravlox as thin as you can with a very sharp knife.
Thanks for sharing that recipe, Patrick! And as one, final picnic brunch tip: I like to pack mimosas in a leftover 32oz juice container, like one from a Santa Cruz Organic Lemonade bottle. It fits 750ml champagne (a standard-sized bottle) with just enough room for the perfect amount of OJ on top. Enjoy!