Zero Mostel's Poached Salmon with Green Mayonnaise
For the fish:
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 1/2 cups water
Bouquet garni (1 small bay leaf, 2 sprigs of parsley, 1 sprig of fresh thyme [or 1/2 tsp. dried], tied in a cheesecloth bag)
1 small onion stuck with 2 cloves
1 stalk of celery with tops, chopped
8 bruised peppercorns
1 small carrot, cleaned and cut in hunks
1 1/2 tsps. salt
Juice of 1/2 lemon
5-6 lbs. whole fresh salmon
Parsley or watercress
End slice (white) of hard-cooked egg
Black olive (or truffle)
Place ingredients, except fish, parsley, lemon slices, egg and black olive (or truffle) in fish kettle (or pan deep enough and long enough to cook a whole fish). Bring to boiling point, simmer uncovered 45 minutes to reduce volume slightly. Strain and set aside. Prepare fish by drawing, leave head and tail on, remove eyes. Wipe fish with clean, damp cloth; wrap in double thickness of cheesecloth. Bring to boiling point, lower fish slowly and carefully into pot.
Bring to boiling point, lower heat, let simmer only 3 minutes, remove pot from heat. Let fish cool in stock. Carefully lift fish from pot. Place on long, narrow plate. Chill; carefully remove skin, keeping fish intact. Decorate with parsley or watercress. A realistic eye can be fashioned by egg white, centered with speck of black olive (or truffle). Arrange thin slices of lemon around fish to complete. Serve with green mayonnaise for main dish or buffet offering. Serves 4-6.
For the green mayonnaise:
1 large egg yolk
1/4 tsp. salt
Sprinkling of white pepper
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice (or vinegar)
1 cup salad oil
1 tbsp. boiling water
Few drops pressed garlic
1 tbsp. capers
2 tbsps. finely chopped (or sieved) fresh basil (or watercress or parsley)
Mix egg yolk, salt, pepper, and a few drops of lemon juice in a small, deep bowl. Add oil drop by drop, beating constantly with whisk or wooden spoon after each addition. Sauce should be thick and creamy. Thin down mayonnaise by adding remaining lemon juice along the way. To "set" mayonnaise and prevent curdling, add boiling water at end, beating vigorously. Add garlic, capers, basil; mix well. Chill before serving.
Thoughts: Zero suggests using only fresh whole fish in preparing salmon in the European manner. Trout or striped bass may be substituted for salmon.