Imagine a stuffing of maple smoked bacon and beautiful firm fresh pears, gussied up with onion and garlic and moistened with white wine or vermouth in our case, and sweetened with maple syrup all sittin' pretty on a salmon fillet. Topped with slices of mild and flavorful triple cream Cambozola that melts and darn near disappears into the stuffing as it bakes, the end result is incredibly moist and full of flavor.
Another winner from the Canada Dairy Counsel, I made a some changes to their suggestions which turned out very well if I do say so myself. Instead of placing the stuffing between 2 large skinless fillets I used just one left the skin on for easier serving, and placed the stuffing on top. After all there's just the two of us and even then there was certainly enough for 4. I also replaced the salmon with steelhead; it's not easy to find down here in the desert so when we see it available and on sale, we try to take advantage of it.
I really wanted the flavor of the stuffing and the fish to stand out, so exchanged a mild and creamy Cambozola for a sharper blue cheese. The rich creamy flavors of the cheese really complement the subtle flavor of the pears and it doesn't overpower the flavor of the fish one bit.You'll notice I left the rind on the cheese - it's perfectly edible after all and I knew when the cheese melted the rind would be left as a varigated garnish.
Oh, one more thing - if you're not familiar with the herb "summer savory" and don't want to jam another bottle into your spice cupboard that you'll rarely use, substitute a pinch of sage or even a teaspoon of Herbs de Provence instead. You'll be just as pleased with the results.
I bet you're wondering if you know who liked it, aren't you? I can honestly admit the silence at the dinner table broken by the odd ecstatic moan was proof we've found yet another winner winner salmon dinner.
Pear and Blue Stuffed Salmon (adapted from Dairy Goodness)
1 salmon or steelhead fillet, skin left on (about 1-1/2 pounds)
3 slices maple flavored bacon, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 pears, peeled, cored and diced
1/2 cup white wine or dry vermouth
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (no substitutions)
1 teaspoon dried summer savory (or Herbs de Provence)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 slice Texas toast, made into crumbs
4 ounces Triple Cream Cambozola (or Saga Blue)
Wash salmon or steelhead fillet well and dry both sides. Remove any pin bones. Place onto parchment lined baking sheet, skin side down. Refrigerate until needed.
In a large sauté pan over medium heat, cook bacon until fat is rendered and bacon is just starting to crisp. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onion is softened. Add pears, vermouth, maple syrup and summer savory. Season well with salt and pepper and let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. (Stuffing may be prepared in advance and refrigerated).
Preheat oven to 375. Place stuffing on fillet and spread evenly. Slice Cambozola thinly with a sharp wet knife and place cheese in a diagonal on top of stuffing. Bake fish, uncovered for 20 to 23 minutes or until fish is done to your preference. We like ours slightly opaque in the center. Slice fillet into 4 servings.
A year ago - Duck with Pomegranate Chile Sauce