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Fish for all times

12 July 2013

By Simon Walsh


PETERTIDE, and on turns the summer. Smoked salmon comes into its own at this time of year, especially for a picnic. Yet, sadly, the once-popular poached salmon is much overlooked these days. Salmon fillets are a staple of supermarkets, and those with a wet-fish counter are worth seeking out to get a whole salmon tail.

To make Poached salmon is easy. Either get a whole filleted tail from the counter, or a packet of four fillets. The total weight should be at least 500g (1 lb 2 oz) in both cases.

Run the fish under a cold tap, and check it for any small bones. Place a tail lengthways into a roasting tin, skin side down. Juice three lemons and set aside the juice, placing the husks into the pan with the fish. Add bay leaves, about ten peppercorns, and an onion in quarters.

Fill the pan with water until the fish is just covered. Place it on the hob and bring to the boil. Allow it to simmer for 30 seconds then turn it off and leave for an hour. The salmon will be perfectly poached.

Serve it with this simple Hollandaise sauce.

3 egg yolks

1 tablespoon lemon juice

ground black pepper and salt

120g (4 oz) melted butter

In a blender, combine the egg yolks with the lemon juice and seasoning for a few seconds. Run the motor at its lowest setting, and add in the melted butter through the top. Blend the sauce until thick and light, with a little froth, and serve immediately alongside the fish.

What, then, to do with the egg whites? Easy: make them into a Peach pavlova, one of Australia's more successful exports. The trick to a marshmallow-like interior is all about the ingredients, and none of that nonsense about leaving it in the oven overnight with the door open. This one incorporates almond essence to go with the peaches, but it could be omitted if you prefer a different fruit that is in season.

3 egg whites

1 teaspoon cornflour

1 teaspoon vinegar

1 teaspoon almond essence

100g (4 oz) caster sugar

100g (4 oz) Demerara/brown


300ml (10 fl oz) double cream

4 peaches, peeled, sliced, and


8 small amaretti biscuits

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Mix in the cornflour, vinegar, almond essence, and caster sugar; whisk until firm and glossy. Fold in the brown sugar.

Tear off a square of baking parchment to cover a baking sheet, and trace the edge of a dinner plate around with a pencil. Spoon the meringue mix into this circle, moving your spoon or spatula evenly around it. Try to have a little well, or indent, in the centre. Transfer to a low oven, and bake at 160°C/315°F/Gas 3 for an hour. Leave it to cool for at least a couple of hours, top with the whipped cream and fresh peach slices, then artfully crumble over the amaretti.


Sat 21 May @ 08:38
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