Baked stuffed salmon is part of my family tradition for the Holiday season, a delicate and appetizing main course to enjoy with your family and friends. Salmon is a big fish, so I usually prepare it when I invite a lot of people to dinner. You can also re-heat it the next day and enjoy it again. This dish’s secret of success is the blend of flavors and the right cooking time. Salmon meat should not be over-done nor under-cooked, it should come out tender and compact.
Salmon is one of my favorite fish: tasty, light and healthy. It is part of my regular diet. For additional nutritional information and recipes please check out asparagus and smoke salmon pie, salmon wrapped in puff pastry, marinated grilled salmon.
SALMONE ARROSTO RIPIENO (BAKED STUFFED SALMON)
1 large fresh salmon, about 3 kg (6-7 pounds), clean and deboned
300 g (11 oz) hearty bakery bread
360 ml (1 1/2 cups) milk
100 g (1 cup) grated Parmesan
1 medium egg
4 tablespoons chopped parsely
3 garlic cloves, crushed
Fresh sage leaves
Olive oil (extra virgin)
240 ml (1 cup) dry white wine
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F)
2. First prepare the stuffing. In a bowl, cover the bread with the milk and soak for about 20 minutes until it is completely softned. Add more milk, if neccessary. Squeeze dry
3. In a large bowl mix the bread, eggs, parsley, garlic, Parmesean cheese, salt and pepper to taste
4. Then prepare the salmon, it’s really not difficult to do – just a bit tedious, maybe. Scale the fish, but don’t remove the fins. Slit open the belly and remove the entrails, wash well. Snip the backbone just behind the head and at the tail. Slowly pull the rib-bones away from the meat along the full length of the fish, working them carefully with your fingertips. Open up the fish and then pull the vertical bones from the meat, being careful to remove all of them. Pat the meat to be sure there are no stray bones. If you don’t feel like tackling this task, ask your fishmonger to clean and debone the salmon. Wash the salmon under cold running water, pat dry with paper towels
5. Season the inside with some salt and pepper. Fill the fish cavity with the stuffing, without the bones it should be easy to open up. Then place the salmon on a baking sheet greased with some olive oil. You can also place some parchment paper on the baking sheet. Cover the salmon with some sage leaves. If you use parchment paper, you can fold the salmon with some paper. Bake for about 40-45 minutes basting a few times with some white wine. The salmon is done when a thermoter inserted into the meat registers a temperature of 57°-60°C (about 140°F). Let it rest for 5 minutes, then slice and serve.
Note: I’d suggest that you refer to Joy of Cooking for tips on scaling and drawing fish. The book also describes de-boning the fish, but I prefer my method. – Paola