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Salmon in Aspic

ingredients

serves 10-15
1 large salmon
court bouillon
1 crisp lettuce or endive
300 ml(2 pint) fish stock
1 egg white and the egg shell
1 tablespoon dry sherry
15g (1/2 oz) powdered gelatine
1 bunch radishes, very thinly sliced
1 bunch fresh mint
mayonnaise to serve

method

1. Poach the salmon in a fish kettle in the warm court bouillon. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. If you do not have a fish kettle you can place the salmon on a large sheet of lightly buttered aluminium foil, make a loose parcel around the fish and pour in the court bouillon.

2. Bake in a moderately hot oven 190°c (375°f) gas 5 for 15 minutes per 450 g (1 lb). A really large fish can be cut into two or three pieces and wrapped in separate pieces of foil.

3. After cooling and skinning, the fish can be rejoined and the joins cleverly disguised with a garnish or sauce.

4. When the whole poached or baked salmon is cooked, the skin can be easily peeled off, leaving the skin on the head and tail.

5. To make the aspic coating, add 300 ml(2 pints) of the salmon poaching liquid (court bouillon) to the fish stock and boil down hard to reduce by half. Take off the heat and whisk in the egg white and add the broken egg shell to the liquid. This will clarify the stock. Strain the liquid through a muslin cloth and add the sherry. Stir in the powdered gelatine and continue stirring until it has dissolved. Leave the mixture to cool, then spoon a thin layer of the aspic over the salmon. Chill and leave to set, then overlap the sliced radish down the backbone and arrange mint leaves decoratively along each side. Coat the salmon with another layer of aspic and chill again. Repeat once more.

6. Shred the lettuce or endive and use to line a serving dish and place the salmon on top. Any left-over aspic can be chilled until set hard then chopped up and placed in the dish on top of the lettuce.

7. Serve with mayonnaise.

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