by Julie Geary
Is there a traditional Fourth of July meal? Many consider poached salmon, fresh peas and strawberry shortcake to be the traditional meal.
1 whole Atlantic salmon, cleaned and without scales
1 fresh lemon, sliced
1 whole red onion, sliced
Cracked black pepper
1 cup white wine
1 cup Lemon Dill Sauce
2 whole fresh lemons, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Rinse the cavity of the fish and separate the head and the tail.
3. Coat a large roasting pan with oil and place all three pieces of the fish into the pan.
4. Lay lemon slices and onion slices in the cavity. Salt and pepper. Spray outside body of the salmon with oil. Add wine and cover with foil. Be sure it is air tight so that the steam will not escape.
5. Bake in oven for about 1 and ½ hours, until the flesh is loose when a knife is inserted.
6. When fish is cooled, remove skin and the congealed fat along the side of the filet.
7. Lift the salmon filet off the bone and put onto a platter. Remove spine and as many bones as you can find by feeling with your fingers.
8. Taking a long platter, place the head on one end and the tail on the other. Form the salmon flesh into the shape of the fish body from tail to head.
9. Lightly cover the salmon flesh from the head to the tail with the Lemon Dill Sauce.
10. Slice the cucumbers into thin slices so that they will bend along the contours of the fish body.
11. Starting from the tail, lay out the cucumber slices until the entire side of the fish is covered with the “cucumber scales.”
12. Garnish by lining the bottom of the plate with half-slices of lemon.
You can make this a day ahead and refrigerate. You can also cook the fish the day before and assemble the rest on the day of the party. If desired, you can use the leftover bones, fat and fish to make a stock for salmon chowder or other seafood soup.
Recipe courtesy of Julie Geary, Classic Cooks Catering, 2011.