At this time of the year both Atlantic and Pacific salmon are available, and if you go along with tradition, you will doubtless serve one or the other at your Fourth of July dinner.
Salmon served with fresh peas has been a New England tradition since 1776, although Abigail Adams had served it earlier. But because she liked the American quality of it, she decided it was perfect for July 4, l776.
Whether your salmon for the fourth is hot or cold, you can make it more interesting by serving more than one kind of sauce.
Poached salmon is an excellent example of how a simple meal can be made very special with special sauces that may be creamy, piquant or herbal. Poached Salmon Steaks 4 cups boiling water 3 chicken bouillon cubes or envelopes 2 tablespoons white vinegar 1 medium onion, sliced 1 bay leaf 1 teaspoon dill weed 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper 4 salmon steaks, cut about 1 inch thick (about 2 1/2 pounds)
In 12-inch skillet over high heat, combine boiling water and bouillon cubes, vinegar, onion slices, bay leaf, dill weed, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low. Cover skillet and simmer 5 minutes.
Add salmon steaks. Cover and simmer 8 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
With pancake turner lift steaks onto warm platter. With slotted spoon, remove and drain onion slices, placing them over steaks for garnish, if desired. Discard bay leaf.
Serve with sauces of your choice from among the following. Serves 4. Sour Cream-Dill Sauce (blender method) 1/2 cup sour cream 3 tablespoons mayonnaise 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon white vinegar 1 green onion, chopped 5 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (or 2 teaspoons dried dill weed) Parsley and lemon, for garnish
Place all ingredients for sauce in blender. Cover and blend at high speed until well mixed, stopping blender occasionally and scraping down sides. Cover, and refrigerate until serving time.
In New England, Creamy Egg Sauce is not served only on salmon as a Fourth of July treat, it may appear anytime during the year with haddock or halibut. We must also share some of the credit for the origin of this sauce with none other than George Washington for whom it was created. Creamy Egg Sauce for Poached or Steamed Salmon 2 tablespoons butter or margarine 1 onion, minced 2 tablespoons flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1/8 teaspoon pepper 1 cup milk 1 cup evaporated milk or half-and-half 2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
Melt butter or margarine in saucepan. Saute onion until golden. Rub in flour, salt, paprika, pepper, to make a paste. Cook slowly. Remove from heat. Very slowly stir in milk and evaporated milk or half-and-half. Return to heat and stir constantly until mixture bubbles. Add the hard-cooked eggs. Serve hot over poached or steamed salmon. Cucumber Sauce for Hot or Cold Salmon 1/2 cup finely diced cucumber, drained 1/4 cup mayonnaise or sour cream 1/4 teaspoon celery salt Dash white pepper
In small bowl, with spoon, stir all ingredients. Makes about 3/4 cup. Serve at room temperature over hot salmon, or serve chilled over cold salmon. Remoulade Sauce for Cold Salmon 2 egg yolks Pinch of salt 3/4 cup olive oil Juice of 1/2 lemon Dash of pepper 1/4 cup whipping cream 1 tablespoon minced parsley 1 tablespoon minced cucumber 1 tablespoon minced onion
Beat egg yolks until lemon-colored. Add salt and olive oil. Beat well. Add lemon juice, a few drops at a time, beating all the while. Add a dash of pepper.
Whip cream and fold into sauce. Add minced vegetables and pour over chilled salmon. Makes enough sauce to serve 4. Parsley-Caper Sauce 1 cup minced fresh parsley 2 hard-cooked eggs, minced 1/2 cup olive or salad oil 1/2 cup lemon juice 1/3 cup chopped bottled capers 1 garlic clove, minced
In small saucepan over medium heat, heat all ingredients until warm, stirring occasionally. Serve warm. Makes about 1 3/4 cups.