After the amount of rain we’ve had over the past wee while I’m starting to feel like we’re living underwater, so what better time to think about cooking fish.

This salmon dish is very definitely celebration food and perfect for that mid winter party that is so necessary to drag us out of our winter hibernation.

Cooking a fish whole is a wonderful way of cooking, as it tends to stay moist and looks great in the middle of the table. It does, however, come with some tricky bits, namely how do you get the whole fish off the tray and onto the display plate without having it fall apart? To move the salmon you basically need to support it through out its length, this can be done with as many fish slices and hands as you can find, or create a lifting cradle with strips of doubled over foil spaced every few centimetres. This is done before the cooking and can be easily slipped out once the salmon is on the plate.

Happy Cooking.

Vodka Roast Salmon with Dijon Mustard Sauce

This dish looks elaborate yet isn’t fiddly at all!  Roasting a whole salmon keeps the texture succulent and all those wonderful flavours locked in.  Buy the freshest fish you can find.

Serves 12

3kg whole salmon, gutted, scaled and head removed

1 lemon, halved and sliced

6 tbsp vodka

2 tbsp olive oil

Fresh dill sprigs for garnishing

For the sauce:

300ml crème fraiche

3 tbsp Dijon mustard

½ tbsp fresh lemon juice

4 tbsp fresh dill, chopped

Method

Preheat oven to 200°C or put barbeque on HIGH and close lid.  Place salmon in a large roasting tin and score the top at 4cm intervals.  Place a slice of lemon in each slit and push the remaining slices underneath.  Drizzle with vodka and olive oil and season well, then roast for 45 minutes or until lightly charred and cooked through.  Meanwhile, mix together sauce ingredients and season to taste.  Place salmon on platter, garnish with dill and serve with mustard sauce.

For me a good Sauvignon Blanc is spot on with this, and cuts through the natural oiliness so well. Try The Ned for a spankingly good value wine.

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