Believe it or not, I came up with this Stuffed Salmon recipe one particular evening when I was feeling rather uninspired and didn’t have much of anything left in the fridge… I hadn’t taken any meat out of the freezer and I was all out of eggs, so protein was pretty much nowhere to be found. Disaster of disasters, even my stash of canned salmon was completely depleted. How could that even be possible?
Good thing is, I did have to go out to run a quick errand, so I’d be able to hit the grocery store on my way back home. I really didn’t feel like spending hours in there, though, so I was hoping for a quick in and out.
Immediately upon entering, my attention got grabbed by a beautiful display of fresh wild salmon fillets, all piled up on mountains of shaved ice. Oh, there’s something about that vision that I just can’t resist. I always want to buy the whole display!
Lucky for me, the salmon was going for a reasonable price, so I asked the guy behind the counter to please, prepare two beautiful pre-portioned sized fillets for me and to please, (yes, again. I am very polite!) cut them right off the thickest center part.
Then I was quickly on my way: a plan was already forming in my mind…
Indeed, once I had the fish in my hands, the inspiration came to me like magic.
And magic is precisely what the dish turned out tasting like, too! In fact, I’d say that this entire dish is like pure magic. It’s just heavenly good, SUPER easy and quick to make, yet it looks so elegant, you could very well serve this to guests on special occasions!
It would also be the perfect meal choice for a romantic dinner for two, or even just for for a casual dinner with a friend…
You’ll need to start by sweating some green onions and mushrooms, to which you will then add a handful of chopped macadamia nuts.
Now I chose to use macadamia nuts because I really like their subtle, creamy flavor and the intense crunchiness that they have to them, but if you don’t have any on hand, I take it any other nut would do the trick and would also confer its own personality to the dish.
Chopped spinach then goes into the pan and is given a few seconds to wilt…
…before the shrimps join the party and are also given a few seconds in the heat of things, just until they turn pink and opaque.
The stuffing is then given a few minutes to cool down, then mayo gets added to it. You will then need to help it find its way down the “pockets” that you’ve carefully carved in the salmon fillets.
Of course, that alone wouldn’t be enough stuffing for my taste, so you need to mound more on top of the fillet!
It looks so much prettier that way, too!
The fillets then go in a scorching hot pan, skin side down, for about a minute, just to sear the skin nice and good. You’d be surprised how much personality this simple precaution gives to the dish! The skin becomes so crispy and SO tasty. Think chicken skin is yummy? Just wait ’til you tasted this!
After about a minute, you need to lower the heat, put a lid on and let your fish cook for 5-8 minutes, until the meat turns opaque.
If you like your salmon to remain a bit on the rare side, do not go over that 5 minute mark!
The fish then gets transferred to the oven where it will spend a few more minutes under the broiler, just until the stuffing starts to bubble and turns a beautiful golden brown.
And that’s all there is to it. Really. This beautiful dish is now ready to be served.
How complicated was this?
Does this look moist and tender enough for you? And talk about TASTY!
I’m telling you guys, one taste of this dish and I can predict it will become a favorite of yours. In fact, you’re probably going to get to know the recipe by heart in no time!
That’s if you don’t start to improvise…
- Melt a little bit of cooking fat in a skillet set over medium heat and cook the green onions and mushrooms, salt and pepper until the onions mushrooms are soft and golden, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add macadamia nuts and continue cooking until they get slightly toasted, 1 or 2 minutes, then throw in spinach and cook until wilted, about 30 seconds.
- Now throw in the chopped shrimp and cook stirring until they turn opaque, about 1 minute.
- Set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes, then stir in nutmeg and mayo.
- Make an incision lengtwhise in salmon fillets, without going all the way through. The skin has to remain intact.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper and divide the stuffing between the fillets, packing as much as you can down the incisions you just made and mounding the rest on top of the fillets.
- Melt a little bit more cooking fat in a heavy skillet set over high heat (cast iron preferred) and when the pan is scorching hot, delicately add the stuffed salmon fillets, skin side down.
- Cook uncovered for about 1 minute to sear the skin nice and good.
- Lower heat to low, cover and cook for about 5-8 minutes, depending on thickness and desired level of doneness, until salmon turns opaque.
- Transfer to oven and set to broil for about 2-3 minutes, until top turns golden and starts to bubble.