A whole salmon looks good as the centrepiece of a buffet
Try this recipe for cold dressed salmon – it looks spectacular!
Want to impress your guests? Don’t know what to serve at that dinner party? This is a light but impressive meal, ideal for summer parties!
Here's one way of decorating salmon, or try our method (scroll down).
Cooking your salmon - poach or bake
Remember to cook your salmon in good time, it needs at least 5-6 hours or overnight to cool completely. All quantities are approximate. You can poach the salmon in a fish kettle or bake in the oven.
Poach the salmon as follows
Put water and about half a pint of white wine into a fish kettle, enough to just cover the fish. Don’t add the fish yet.Add a few pieces of celery, onion and the thyme, and bring to the boil. Then add the salmon, and allow the temperature to rise until the water is at averygentle simmer. Allow about 8-9 minutes to the kg. Test by inserting a sharp knife into the area covered by the "scales” behind the head on the diagram below – it won’t show on the finished salmon. When the salmon is cooked, drain off the cooking liquid, and allow the fish to cool in the fish kettle.
Bake the salmon as follows
The oven should be at 180°C or Gas 4. Lay a large piece of foil in a baking tin and butter it – it’s got to be big enough to wrap the salmon in. Lay the salmon in diagonally, if the tin is big enough, or curl it round, making sure the tail isn’t squashed. Cook the salmon for 15 minutes for every 500g, and add another 15 minutes. Unwrap the salmon to test if it’s cooked (see above), wrap loosely back up and leave to cool. If you’ve had to curl your salmon, don’t try to uncurl it when cooked, just decorate it like that.
Prepare the decoration
Cut up about half a cucumber into very thin slices and cut these in half. Cut up a few stuffed olives so that the red pimento remains in the centre. Wash a lettuce or watercress and cut up some radishes and lemon wedges.
When it’s cooked, cooled and skinned, decorate the salmon in the order shown below.
- arrange the cucumber to resemble "scales”, starting at the arrow
- arrange the second area of "scales”, starting at the arrow
- arrange slices of stuffed olives
- finish off "scales” with a wavy line of piped mayonnaise (put a couple of spoons of mayonnaise in a new plastic bag, cut a very small piece off one corner of the bag – an instant piping bag!)
- put slice of stuffed olive over the eye, finish with a line of mayonnaise
Serve the salmon with mayonnaise, boiled new potatoes or a potato salad
Dress the salmon according to this diagram, or use your own ideas. It will look great with a border of lettuce and prawns