02 May 2012
Salmon in Aspic
This is an unusual salad for a special occasion.
Makes 12 servings.
1 whole fresh salmon, dressed (about 4 to 5 pounds)
1 tablespoon salt
1 bay leaf
1 large onion, sliced
1/2 cup lemon juice
Lemon Aspic (recipe follows)
3 hard-cooked eggs, shelled and sliced
6 pitted ripe olives, sliced
Fresh dill fronds
3 medium-size tomatoes
1 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
1. Wash salmon under running cold water; place flat on rack in a large shallow pan (use fish poacher or roasting pan). Add salt, bay leaf, onion, and lemon juice, then add water to half cover fish.
2. Heat to boiling; reduce heat; cover.Simmer 15 to 20 minutes, depending on thickness of fish. Remove pan from heat; let fish cool in stock for 1 hour.
3. Lift rack, holding until well drained; transfer to serving platter by sliding fish or by turning over onto platter. Remove skin carefully. Chill salmon while making Lemon Aspic.
4. Spoon a small amount of chilled aspic over fish to coat evenly; chill until sticky-firm; repeat. Spoon any aspic that runs off back into bowl.
5. Arrange eggs. olives. and small fronds of dill on fish; spoon aspic over in thin layer; chill until sticky-firm. Repeat 2 or 3 more times until all aspic is used and fish and garnish are will-coated with aspic. (This can be done early in the day or even day before). Chill until very firm.
6. Before serving, scoop out tomatoes with a spoon to make cups; dice enough of centers and tops to make 1/2 cup; drain cups and diced tomato well. Combine mayonnaise or salad dressing with diced tomato and dill; mound into tomatoes.
7. Arrange tomatoes; lemon wedges, chicory. and diced aspic in fish platter.
8. To serve, loosen top layer of fish from backbone; cut into pieces. When top half has been served, remove backbone in one piece and slice and serve the half.
Soften 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin in 1/2 cup cold water in a small bowl; add 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and 2 1/2 cups boiling water; stir until gelatin is dissolved. Stir in 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon liquid red pepper seasoning. Measure 1 cup aspic mixture into an 8x8x2 inch pan. Chill remainder until thick as unbeaten egg white; use this to coat fish; chill aspic in pan until firm; dice for garnishing fish.