We had a busy weekend, it was my thirteen year old's Confirmation. We were delighted, it was wonderful, it also meant 16 family and friends for lunch, which of course is delightful too but they have to be fed! This is where the salmon came in. Wow! this was not just any salmon - there's a story here.
I had just about given up finding a WHOLE salmon, there are fillets galore, but a whole salmon is a different thing altogether. There were just NO whole salmons to be found. On the off chance I tried a place I have never tried before and OHHHHH, you should have seen the fish. I wish I had had my camera. The owner was unloading crates of ice packed WHOLE salmon! He truimphally lifted up the most beautiful fish I had ever seen, it positively glistened! it was NINE pounds! I fell in love and then he told me the price. I had promised myself that as I grow older I will become more of a risk taker, so I took out a second mortgage and bought the fantastic vertebrate. I wasn't too sure how I was going to handle this fish - but I knew it was a treasure.
It was wrapped in brown paper and then unceremoniously thrown into a black plastic bin liner. I handed over the money, tossed the bin liner over my shoulder and hauled my catch into the car. I felt as it I had rowed out into the Hudson River and single handedly caught my fish (although I don't think there is a salmon to be found in the Hudson River).
When I arrived home and took it out of it's wrapping my Jack Russell Terrier was beside herself - there's just something about raw salmon. This beauty had been painstakingly butterflied and deboned with nail clippers! It was all systems GO. I stuffed this baby with lemons, a TON of fresh herbs and seasoned it with salt and pepper. Then I trussed it and baked it for about an hour and said a prayer.
It was SO obliging, it came out of the oven perfectly cooked. It took HOURS to cool. When it did I gently removed the skin, transferred it to a lovely fish plate, sliced about a million disks of cucumber and decorated to my heart's content.
The fish did me proud, especially considering I really didn't have a clue about dealing with anything that size and not a flake was left. We had a great day even though I was counting on leftovers!
Heat the oven to 425F
1, 9 lb salmon!
handfuls of fresh herbs such as dill and oregano
salt and pepper
Stuff the fish with the lemons and herbs and season with salt and pepper.
Tie it up with kitchen twine and place in the oven for approximately 1 hour or until cooked through.
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Gently take off the skin, transfer to a serving platter and decorate with cucumber disks.