Monday, 1 October 2012

Stuffed Salmon (another gluten free dish)

I have been making this recipe for over 28 years, and have had many compliments from guests. It is a little more time consuming, so usually save it for when we have company. It can be done in the oven, or on a BBQ, so it is a year round treat. This is a 'start early in the day' production. The most important thing about cooking fish, is to get it cooked without over-cooking. This can be very tricky, and I still have days when I left it too long. When over cooked, fish becomes dried, and difficult to swallow. The perfect point of cooking is when the flesh is just opaque, but still moist and very tender. If done right, it just melts in your mouth.

What you need:  1 whole salmon, 4-5 pounds (head and tail removed if you wish); 1 cup of raw wild rice, 2 cups of raw long grain white rice or brown rice; 1 small onion, 3 - 4 cloves of garlic; a bunch of fresh parsley; 2 lemons; salt; pepper; 2 tbs 'herbes fines' , or your favourite blend of herbs.

About 4 hours before serving time, cook wild rice in 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Set aside in remaining cooking water.

Peel and mince the onoin and garlic. Heat a little butter, margarine, or oil and gently saute the onion and garlic until transparent, but not browned.

Cook white or brown rice as directed on package. Finely chop the parsley.
Add wild rice to other cooked rice, reserving cooking liquid from wild rice. Add sauted onion and garlic, and season with salt, pepper, parsley and the fine herbs.

Remove wrappings from salmon and wash well in cool water. Place on a large doubled sheet of heavy duty foil, which is long enough to enclose the whole fish. Season inside and outside of the fish with salt and pepper. Stuff cavity with rice mixture. Thinly slice 1 lemon, and place slices on top of fish. Roll the fish to the other side, and repeat with second lemon. Tightly wrap the foil, folding edges together to seal. Place remaining rice mixture in an oven safe crock or baking dish. Add cooking liquid from wild rice to about an inch depth. Cover tightly with foil.

Oven baking - Place fish on a cookie sheet to bake in oven, and bake about 15-20 minutes per side at 350 F. Place extra stuffing in oven to keep hot. Check for doneness, by slicing into the fish to see if the flesh in opaque. the industry says cook fish for 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Use that as your guide, because the fish will take more or less time depending on it's size.

If using the BBQ  preheat at maximum. After initial heating, reduce to about medium heat. Place foil wrapped fish directly on rack, and place extra stuffing on upper rack to keep hot. Turn whole package over after 10 minutes. Check the fish after 10 minutes for doneness.

To serve, peel back top side of the skin. It should separate fairly easily from the flesh. Use a metal spatula to lift the meat from the ribcage and spinal bones. When all the usable meat is removed from the top side, turn fish and repeat to get meat from other side. Serve with the rice mixture and a salad or cooked vegetables of your choice. Also, I usually make a Hollandaise sauce to go with this. I make it from scratch, but there are also many mixes available at the market. The recipe I use is from the Vancouver 1986 World's Fair cookbook, so I am not able to share, as I do not own the rights to it.
Hope you enjoy.

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