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Salmon fishing is widely popular, but catching salmon can be tricky for the inexperienced. Knowing what lure to use for your specific location can make a major difference in whether or not you catch the salmon you're after.

Once caught there are hundreds of ways to cook your salmon, from the simplest of methods -poaching or the more elaborate, baking en croute.  Some of the ways in which you can cook your salmon are: cooking it in foil with herbs, barbecuing your fish, making the salmon into sushi or sashimi, salmon burgers or fish cakes, slow roasting with various sauces, or even smoking it.  You can also use citric acid from limes or lemons to "chemically cook" your salmon resulting in the wonderfully flavourful gravlax or lox.

Poaching is probably the simplest way of cooking your catch.  It involves cooking the fish in simmering water flavoured with wine, vegetables or herbs that compliment the flavour of the fish.  Because poaching shows up the natural flavour of the fish, the fish must be very fresh.  Also, the fresher it is, the better it will keep its shape.  You can use plain water, brine or court-bouillon flavoured with herbs, peppercorns, wine or use fish stock. 

The basic instruction for poaching fish is that the liquid should be cool to start with, once the fish is immersed in the liquid, it should be slowly brought to the point of simmering which then  allows the heat to penetrate the whole fish.  If the liquid is too hot to start with, the outer parts of the fish cook but leave the inner part raw and cold. 

Once you have poured in sufficient liquid to cover the fish, cover the pan with a tightly fitting lid and slowly bring the liquid to simmering point.  When the first bubbles appear, reduce the heat to just below the simmering point, the liquid should just quiver but not bubble.  Check your recipe for the correct poaching time. You'll need to let the fish cool in the poaching liquid.

Once your fish is poached to perfection, you can make an impressive display of the fish by coating and surrounding it with aspic jelly and cucumber slices and quartered hard boiled eggs.  Serve this with Mayonnaise Chantilly and your guests will be in awe of your cooking prowess, even though this recipe is not difficult, just a bit
time consuming, you can of course do everything in advance.

One of my favourite ways of serving salmon is to fry the salmon fillets in one tablespoon olive oil for about 5 minutes, turning half way through.  Meanwhile mix 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard, 2 teaspoons of honey, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and after turning the  fish, pour the sauce over the fish, bring to a boil and add 100 ml or 3 ½ fl oz vegetable stock and lightly mix with the pan juices.  Add a bunch of spring onions that you've cut into strips and let the liquid bubble for about 1-2 minutes, just until the onions are heated      through.  Serve on a bed of boiled rice with steamed seasonal vegetables.  Serve with a lovely fruity white Chardonnay for a superb summer meal for two!

Be sure to look for the other ways in which to cook that wonderful salmon you or your other half has caught.  Because salmon is such a delicious fish, you won't be disappointed however you cook it.

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