I have prepared Salmon a ton of different ways, and this recipe really stands out as a great way to showcase this noble fish. Not only is this dish tasty, it is super easy to prepare. Any type of salmon will be great, but I really prefer to go with wild-caught salmon, preferably self-caught or reeled in by a generous friend. Bring on the flavors of summer with a Salmon preparation that will knock your waders off.
- 2 pounds of Salmon Fillets
- Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
- 12 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup of green onion, finely chopped
- 5 ounces of cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup of spinach, chopped
- 1 cup of white mushrooms, chopped
- ¼ cup of Italian parsley, chopped
- Olive oil
I like to brine almost every protein before cooking; I feel it really improves the flavor. If you do not want to brine that is fine, but I will include some quick instruction on how to do it with a few simple ingredients. In a large zip lock bag combine 4 cups of cold water with ¼ cup kosher salt and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Seal and slosh the mixture around until the salt and sugar dissolve. Add the fillets, seal and refrigerate from a couple of hours to overnight. Remove from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Remove pin bones with a clean pair of needle nose pliers.
This recipe goes together really quickly once the prep work is done. Measure out the cream cheese and let it warm up to soften (a brief blast in the microwave will help). Mince and chop all of the vegetables and arrange them on small plates around your prep area. Pre-heat your oven to 400F.
You will need a greased glass baking dish large enough to hold the fillets in one layer. Arrange the fish in the pan so they do not over-lap. This recipe works well with either the skin-off fillets or (my preference), skin on. The meat will pull right off the skin when the fish is cooked and contains a ton of vitamins. Cut some slits lengthwise down the fillets about ¾ of the fillet deep and ½ inch apart. These are going to be stuffed with the garlic and onions and will not be visible in the final presentation.
Mix together the minced garlic and chopped green onions. Rub this mixture over the fish and force into the slits. If you want a little heat you could easily add some chopped jalapeno, serrano, or even habanero Chile’s, to the mix. Spread the cream cheese over the top, trying to keep an even layer. Don’t worry about the small sots where you can’t get the cheese to cooperate; it will all melt together anyway. Layer the spinach and mushrooms on next and then top with a sprinkling of the parsley. Add a dusting of pepper and drizzle some olive oil generously over everything.
Bake in the pre-heated 400F oven for 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness of your salmon. The fish should be flake easily when pricked with a fork. Remove from oven and arrange on a serving tray. A squeeze of lemon juice can be added, for a refreshing dash of flavor. Accompany with some grilled sweet corn of a meal that just shouts summertime.
This is a really wine friendly dish that is great with many wines. I would recommend an oaky chardonnay, or a Marsanne for whites, and a light Pinot Noir or dry Rose on the red side. For beer either e wheat beer or a Pilsner would go very well with this meal, and really aid in the cooking process if chilled and kept close at hand.