Last summer, my husband and I travelled to Kansas City for the wedding of my college roommate. It was a great trip for a variety of reasons, a big one being that we did not take the kids (!!). The wedding was lovely and sweet... just like my friend. The reception included a climbing wall, BB guns and an archery range... the perfect party for an outdoorsy couple (she thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail!).
Whilst free of our parental obligations, we also had the opportunity to visit the National WWI Memorial (at our leisure!) and roam a bit of the city (without stopping for bathroom breaks every 20 minutes!). In our wanderings, we just happened to choose a well-reviewed restaurant called McCormick and Schmick’s for an impromptu date. I don’t remember what my husband chose, but I opted for the Salmon Stuffed with Crab and Shrimp. It was SO GOOD! Just the perfect combination, and the thing that really got me was the sauce that topped it. I should have paid more attention to the menu at the time, but the pre-dinner beverages may have had a part to play in that. Anyway, weeks later I was recounting this meal to my older sister, a well-travelled fellow appreciator of delicious food, and she said, “You know, I have a cookbook from that restaurant… ” And it just happened to include the recipe for both the salmon and the fantastic sauce. A buerre blanc, as it turn out. How fortunate!
I have been wanting to try my hand at this decadent meal as soon as it hit my inbox, but sadly that day has only just arrived. I’ve never made a buerre blanc before, but it is reportedly a wonderful accompaniment to any seafood or vegetable. As you might guess from the name, it’s a white sauce, made with wine and butter, and all I can say is WOW! The salmon was easy, just a matter of combining the right ingredients and cooking the salmon thoroughly without overdoing it. I used goat cheese instead of brie (I just forgot what to buy when I was at the store, but it was still incredibly delicious). Both recipes are straightforward and the results are just amazing. I would have bought the whole cookbook just for this. I’m going to write the original recipe, even though I made a few changes and still loved the result. After dinner, I decided that I could easily enjoy it almost as much with unstuffed salmon, and my husband decided that he could love it almost as much without the sauce. For what it’s worth…
Stuffed Salmon with Crab and Shrimp
Buerre blanc (recipe below)Directions:
4 (5 oz) salmon fillets (I used a gorgeous sockeye salmon)
6 oz Dungeness crab meat (I used canned crab)
6 oz bay shrimp (I used 4 oz fresh, pre-cooked shrimp, chopped into small chunks)
6 oz brie, cut into 1/2” cubes (I used 4 oz unflavored goat cheese)
3 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill (I use 2 tsp dried dill weed)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare buerre blanc and set aside. Split salmon fillets lengthwise to form a pocket for the stuffing. Combine crab, shrimp, brie, dill, salt and pepper. Blend in the mayonnaise to bind it together. Divide the mixture into 4 equal parts and stuff each fillet, keeping the amount of visible stuffign to a minimum (I failed at that part, as the photos show). Bake in a buttered baking dish for 10-12 minutes (I baked 12 minutes, then broiled on low for another 3). Transfer to plate and spoon buerre blanc over the fish.Buerre Blanc
6 oz white whineDirections:
3 oz white wine vinegar
3 whole black peppercorns
1 shallot, quartered
1 cup heavy cream (I used 3/4 cup)
9 oz cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces (I only used 6 tbsp)
Combine wine, vinegar, peppercorns and shallot in small noncorrosive saucepan. Reduce to 1-2 tbsp of syrup. Add cream and reduce again until its 3-4 tbsp and very syrupy. Remove from heat. Add the butter pieces, a few at a time, whisking constantly, allowing each batch to melt in completely before adding more. Strain and keep warm until ready to use.