Saturday, June 5, 2010

Pesto Crusted Salmon with Goat Cheese Filling

Ok, so I had tried a cheese stuffed salmon dish a while ago. I didn't blog about it because it just wasn't good. I should have shared it anyway, but I was too ashamed. So, I will share this adventure. On paper, the recipe sounded good. My mom passed this along from a cooking class and she had wonderful notes all over it. Plus it has pesto. How can you go wrong with pesto? Read on......

Pesto Crusted Salmon with Goat Cheese Filling

4 (5-6 oz.) salmon fillets
6 oz. soft goat cheese or cream cheese
1 Tb. chopped shallots
1 tsp. chopped chives - I left this out
3/4 cup prepared basil pesto
1 cup flour
1 cup panko crumbs - I used plain breadcrumbs.
3 Tb. olive oil

Using a paring knife, cut a small pocket in the side of each salmon fillet. Combine the goat cheese (I used cream cheese), shallots and chives and push 1/4 of the filling into each pocket.

Season salmon with salt & pepper and dredge in the flour. Dip in pesto and then coat well with panko. I only covered one side of the salmon with pesto. Let crust set up for about 10 minutes in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat olive oil in large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Brown salmon on both sides and transfer skillet to oven and bake 6 to 8 minutes. (Salmon may be transferred to a parchment-lined or silpat baking sheet before baking.)

Mmm.... Pesto.....

So it looks good. I've determined that cheese and fish do not go together. And I learned via Food Network that those two items just don't go well together period. But this has pesto! Pesto! And pesto did not save this dish. I think the cream cheese mixture with the shallots was just too strong of an onion flavor. If I ever were to make this dish again, I'd leave the chives and omit the shallots.

Plus this dish was a lot more work than the outcome was worth. I bought salmon with the skin still on, so I skinned the fish myself. Too much work #1. Then cutting a pocket which I did not do a good job of. Too much work
#2. Stuffing the fish then dredging in flour and then pesto and then breadcrumbs? Too much work #3.

Wes said it was ok. I think the shallot flavor was too strong for him, but he said it wasn't terrible. He's so much nicer on my cooking than I am. Anyway, if you for some reason have the desire to try this recipe, let me know how it goes and what you would change. I'm always up for trying again to make it better!

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