Salmon & Peas for 4th of July?

I'm preparing a dinner party for my mother-in-law's birthday. She has requested "Salmon and Peas" for a main course because they used to always have it on the 4th of July. Anybody have a good recipe or have any experience with Salmon & Peas for the 4th? The rest of the menu is set. Thanks for your help! I know I'll get some great ideas!

Helen's All Night Diner


mainecook61 July 6, 2011
Well, it's three days later, but in the interest of New England tradition:
Salmon + peas + new potatoes is the delicious combination. They are separate items, served as simply as possible, because each is the first of the season and thus delicious, sweet, and long desired, especially in the days before electricity, when the potatoes would have given out in March and peas were just a memory. Even today, there is nothing sweeter than the first peas and just-dug little potatoes, with no more than a bit of butter. Northern New England gardeners boast if they hit the July 4 mark just right.
Midge July 6, 2011
Helen-- That sounds so good! The Globe story the other day was the first I'd heard of that tradition and it's so fun reading everyone's take on it.
SKK July 6, 2011
Thank you, HAND - I love hearing the end of the story of these foodpickle questions. And your dish sounds wonderful!
Helen's A. July 6, 2011
Thanks everyone! I ended up poaching 1" cubes of fresh salmon in a court bouillon. I made the sauce from pureed sauteed onions & celery, chicken broth, tarragon, light cream and a bit of the cooking liquid. I mixed the cooked salmon, some blanched fresh peas and sugar snap peas, and the sauce. Poured in a large gratin dish and topped with buttermilk mashed potatoes. Dotted with butter & heated in a 350 oven until lightly browned & bubbly. Everyone loved it!
Greenstuff July 1, 2011
For us, it was always a whole salmon, either poached or roasted in the oven. My mother probably would have embraced grilling as well--she ended up with a son who can grill a whole salmon with the best of them. The peas were pretty much just steamed, maybe with some pearl onions. But there too, my mother would have been open to anything new. I think it was the ingredients rather than the recipe that were most important to her.
Bevi July 1, 2011
My Vermont grandmother made a dish she called salmon peawiddle (seriously), except the dish is actually known as salmon pea wiggle:
She always used canned salmon, but I would think that serving it with poached or grilled salmon would be good.
ChefJune June 30, 2011
From what I learned when I lived in Boston, the salmon was traditionally poached, and served with boiled potatoes and peas. Grilled salmon would probably fit better into today's traditional cook-out for the 4th way of thinking. I would ask your mother in law how she remembers it.
Droplet June 30, 2011

Here are a couple of good ideas, though I don't know what was the traditional way of serving them. One might be better for a smaller family dinner, and the other for preparing ahead for a bit more people.
SKK June 30, 2011
Check this article out - it was written yesterday and gives a recipe as well as the tradition of salmon and peas on July 4.
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