A wonderful recipe for a whole salmon and a perfect presentation. A 6 to 8 pound salmon is ideal for this recipe.
Served cold, and decorated with shrimp and cucumber scales
one 6 to 8 pound salmon, whole
to taste salt and pepper
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups water
3 cups hollandaise sauce (see recipe)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. The whole salmon with the head and tail should be fresh or completely thawed, cleaned, scaled, and washed under cold water. Season the cavity of the fish with salt and pepper. Use the largest baking sheet that will fit in the oven. Line the baking sheet with heavy foil. Place the salmon on the baking pan in the 'swimming position'. Curve the tail of the fish for a more dramatic effect. Wrap the tail and the head of the salmon in buttered sheets of foil. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Pour the lemon juice, white wine, and water in the pan. Brush the surface of the salmon with melted butter.
Measure the salmon across at its thickest part.
Bake 12 to 15 minutes per inch thickness. Baste the fish occasionally. Make sure that the pan juices do not dry out. Add more water if necessary. When the salmon is done, remove from the oven, cover with foil, and keep in a warm place. A few minutes before serving, remove the foil around the head and tail of the salmon. Peel away skin on both sides of the fish. If the fish was lying flat on the tray, it would be difficult to remove the skin off the bottom fillet. Scrape away the dark fatty layer adhering to the flesh. To transfer the whole salmon on a serving tray or platter, use four wide spatulas. One person slides two spatulas under the head and below, another slides the other two spatulas under the tail end and higher.
Synchronize the transfer of the whole salmon onto a serving tray or platter. Cover the fish with foil. Pour the pan juices in a small, heavy saucepan. Reduce the juices to one half cup. Pour and strain over the salmon. Garnish the platter with lemon baskets and parsley. Serve with hollandaise, parsleyed potatoes, and spinach, or green beans.