Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mother’s Day Dinner - Baked Stuffed Salmon

Making dinner for mom can be a challenge. She taught me how to cook when I was very young and since we have enjoyed many years of swapping tips, recipes and cooking together. With years of additional experience and having enjoyed meals in many destinations I have yet to get to, Mom has a broader palate than I do. Figuring out what to make that might offer something new as well as the enjoyment of a well prepared meal can be nerve wracking. But I take that challenge head on as often as I can. Cooking for others who appreciate the nuance of creating in the kitchen is one of life’s true joys for me.

Baked Stuffed Salmon is what I landed for the honor of making dinner for Mother’s Day. I waited until a few days ahead to announce my choice and was so happy to hear it was something she had never had. My challenge was clear. As I often do I searched around on the web for inspiration from what others had done before. If I could even stand on the shoulders of those “giants” for just a few minutes I knew I would feel good about the outcome. I took ingredients and preparation from several different recipes. The recipes that use a whole fish are intriguing and something that is on my list to try another time.

I complimented my main dish with a light version of Scalloped Potatoes and a sautéed asparagus with Garam Masala that has been making me happy of late.

Baked Stuffed Salmon

2 – 1 lb salmon filets, skins on (approx. the same size)
6-8 slices wheat bread, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tbsp capers, drained
2 Tbsp Basil, chopped
2 Tbsp Dill, chopped
2 Tbsp Parsley, chopped
¼ cup melted butter
¼ cup olive oil
Salt & pepper
1 lemon, for zest
Butchers twine

Place the chopped bread in a large bowl, adding water 1 Tbsp at a time till it begins to moisten. Add the onion, capers, herbs and melted butter. Use additional water if necessary. The stuffing should be most, but not liquefied. Lay out one long strand of butcher’s wine that will run along the long side of the fish. Lay out 5 strands of butcher’s twine with about 1 inch between them over top. Exactly how long each is going to depend a lot on how thick your fish is and how much stuffing you make. More is better here. Place 1 salmon filet on an oiled surface, salt and pepper lightly. Place over top the twine. Zest lemon rind over the fish. Mound the stuffing up on the fish. Zest lemon rind over the stuffing. I squeezed some lemon juice over it for more zip and it did work well. Oil the outside of the second filet and place it on top. First tie off the 5 strands of twine, then finishing with the longest and last one. Place the stuffed salmon a foil line baking pan. Add any remaining stuffing over the fish and garnish with a few lemon slices. Bake until the fish flakes and the internal temperature is at least 125 and likely a bit higher to taste. We cooked it about 40 minutes or so and then began taking the temp and it was done not longer after.

I did pair several wines with dinner, including a pre-dinner aperitif of some of my homemade 2010 wild Concord rose. Mom liked that one the best and I left her the bottle to finish over the remainder of her leisurely weekend in VT. I wrote about my wine pairings for The Unreserved earlier in the week with the title “Pinot, but not Noir”. I used a Pinot Blanc and a Pinot Gris from two different parts of the wine world and had good experiences with both. The King Estate Pinot Gris is especially good with salmon, something we found last year when we were visiting the area. We are so excited to be going back, and this time we will be visiting King Estate with local friends.

For dessert I recreated a great closer that Francoise served at our recent trip to Montreal, sorbet with fresh fruit. I used a lemon sorbet from Hagen Daas with fresh cut strawberries that were tossed with a little lime juice and sugar.

With dessert I served a mixed drink from the March/April 2011 issue of Imbibe magazine, the Cheerwine Cocktail #1. Cheerwine is a cherry flavored soda that hails from NC which my parents found for me on their trip back up the East Coast in March. With some gin, lime and over ice the soda really shined. I can see why there is a faithful consumer base for it.

I pretty much figure this challenge worked out splendidly and as good as it could have. We all did enjoy the meal and I heard the leftovers were securely eaten.




Tastemonials said...

The salmon looks amazing. Your mother was lucky to have such a feast to celebrate her day.

Torviewtoronto said...

deliciously done looks wonderful
lovely way to celebrate