06 July 2009

Herbed Cheese-Stuffed Salmon


This is a recipe I got from bhg.com and amended.

Herbed Cheese-Stuffed Salmon

Ingredients:
4 skinless salmon fillets
1 lemon
3 wedges Garlic and Herb Laughing Cow Cheese
1 cup soft bread crumbs (about 1½ slices)
½ cup Parmesan cheese
½ tsp dried basil

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425°. Rinse fish; pat dry. Grate lemon zest and cut lemon into wedges and set aside. In small bowl combine cheese and lemon zest. Cut a pocket in each fillet taking care not to cut all the way through the fish. Spoon cheese mixture into pockets. Set aside.

In a shallow dish combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and basil. Roll each fillet in the bread crumbs, coating all sides. Place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Lightly spray each fillet with cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, about 14 minutes or until salmon flakes when tested with a fork. Squeeze lemon juice on each fillet and serve with remaining wedges.

Makes 4 servings.

This was so good! We love salmon and I am always looking for new ways to prepare it. This was awesome. I served it with rice pilaf.

I made a few changes to the original recipe to get this amended one. They mostly had to do with the breading. The original called for melted butter and pine nuts, and didn't have basil. I omitted the butter because I felt it was unnecessary. And it was. I sprayed the breaded fillets with cooking spray and they browned up just beautifully. I omitted the pine nuts because I just didn't feel like adding them. The recipe called for whole pine nuts and I didn't think that would work very well. I added the basil mostly because I thought it would look pretty with some green flecks running through it. But the basil complemented the herbed cheese very well. Thyme would work too.

The original recipe called for salting the fillets after stuffing and before breading. I totally forgot this step, but I didn't think it was necessary. I didn't miss the salt at all. Also, the original said to just sprinkle the fillet with the bread crumb and parmesan topping. I actually rolled mine in the bread crumbs to completely coat it. And squeezing the lemon juice on top was my twist too. I always think lemon goes really well with seafood and it gives it a nice bright flavor. And Jim really commented on the lemon flavor. He really liked that.

So Jim liked it so much that he is insisting I make it for houseguests later this month. I like how simple it is, yet it kind of has a fancy air to it.

Here are some pics of the process.



After stuffing with cheese. Where you make the incision will depend on the specific shape of your fillet. Just try to cut into the fattest part of it.



Right out of the oven. See, they got very nicely browned on top without the butter. And the cheese didn't ooze out of the pockets at all. That really surprised me.

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