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MMMMM--------------------------GARNISH------------------------------- 1 Lemon; cut in wedges Rosemary branches Thyme sprigs Dill sprigs Place the salmon in a sink filled with cold water. Using a small knife, brush the skin from tail to head, loosening and removing the scales. Run your hand back over the entire body, checking to make sure that all the scales are gone. Rinse under running water and place on a cutting board. Sprinkle a little salt on a small soft piece of wet cloth, then wipe out the centre of the fish so that no blood or discolouration remains. For a delicious crispy skin, brush one side of the fish with the olive oil, making sure to work it well into the skin, and sprinkle with the flour, salt and pepper mixture, patting it firmly into the surface. Gently shake off any surplus, then place the fish back on the cutting board, prepared side up. Using the back of a knife, mark a lengthways centre guideline on the fish body, but do not cut the skin. Using a very sharp knife or sharp clean razor blade, score diagonal incisions 1 inch apart from the top of the body down the centre line almost to the belly. Make a final incision down the backbone so that the skin comes away easily when served. Make a paste of the garlic, salt and pepper, and rub in to the incisions. Layer the herbs inside the fish. Lay the lemon slices down the centre line. Line a shallow baking pan with heavy-duty aluminium foil, shiny-side up. Lift the prepared fish by the head and tail and place it so that the main body of the fish (at least) is in the pan. Wrap the head and tail in oiled aluminium foil. Be sure to fan the tail out so that it holds its shape. Preheat the oven to 230C/450F. Bake the prepared fish for 8 minutes per inch of thickness. Remove from the oven and take off the foil and paper towels. Switch the oven to broil and pop the fish back in to crisp the skin for its table presentation, just until it blisters and browns - about 5 minutes. To serve, lift the fish out of the pan still on its aluminium foil bed and on to a large oval serving plate, then slide the foil out from underneath. The bottom skin will usually come away with the foil. Slice by following the skin lines, serving slices from the back and belly, and garnish with pieces of crispy skin. Save the pan drippings to drizzle over your side dishes for added flavour. When the top layer has been served (usually 6 portions), simply remove the head to a large side plate together with all the herbs and lemon and pry up the backbone to reveal the remaining bone-free fillet. Serve these pieces to your guests who dont want to eat the crispy skin.
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