Mouthwatering Monday. That's a challenge I just can't walk away from. You may have noticed that I'm a Washington state raised girl, married to a farmboy from Upstate New York. And yes, Upstate is the important part. You see, downstate is New York City. I know you've seen Law and Order on television, and it just doesn't match up with Upstate New York. I mean, goodness, the goats broke out of their barn after a wind storm blew the hinges and hardware off the 200 year old barn. They wandered 10 yards to the back of our village neighbors greenpatch and gobbled down tender shoots on their blackberry bushes, and topped their rosebushes but good. Did Christopher Meloni and Marishka Margitay pop out of their sedan and tackle the goats and read them their rights? I think not. This was no issue of Law and Order: Caprine Victims Unit, nosirreebobby. Instead, FarmBoy sees the goats roaming the village, in their girly rhinestone goat collars I might add, and came in the house and hollered for the big boys to come help because the entire goat herd was loose.
He hollered for the two eleven year old boys, because Mom o'Five was up several times in the night with 5/5 and was sleeping. But those are my goats, so I was down the stairs in my warm sleeping sweats and into my kelly green rubber boots before those boys had even registered Papa's holler.
Goats were cavorting like ballerinas in Swan Lake. It was hilarious to see grown goats leaping into the air like little kids free... free at last. They startled when I came bounding out the back door to protect them from the imagined dangers. I called them, and like the good Alpine goats they are, they came running to follow me back to the barn. Ahh, bliss, nibbles of tiny sprouts of greening grass in the spring time, followed by a handful of goat chow and a good back scratching. Oh wait, I was going to be sleeping more than 2 hours. Who needs sleep when you have goats? Oh back to the life I left behind when I married my FarmBoy.
I'm from Washington - and it was a farm, actually with goats where I spent my formative middle school and high school years. Goat milk works well for lactose intolerant tummies, and big gardens feed big families, and that's how I grew up - lots of produce and lots of dairy from our goats. Life and employment took me to Corporate America, and jobs in major metropolitan areas, and what is it that I miss in a tiny village in Upstate New York?
Good seafood. Truly. There have been days when my mouth watered at the mere sight of Iron Chef - Fish of your choice. Being from Washington - I love Pacific Salmon. Being in Upstate New York, I can usually find Atlantic Salmon here. A bit drier, and not as lovely red hued, but stil heart-healthy and delicious. FarmBoy informed me he didn't like salmon. I gasped. When I clarifed that salmon doesn't exclusively come from a can, he invited me to try recipes out on him.
Upstate New York has a supermarket chain that excells. Wegmans'. It's a family friendly chain, and voted #1 in Fortune's Best 100 Companies to Work for. I go there for Thai recipe ingredients, and this week, for salmon. Salmon has those heart-healthy omega fatty acids, and that's my excuse for eating it this week. FarmBoy gives it two thumbs up!
Shrimp Stuffed Salmon Fillets
32 oz. Salmon fillets (about 8)
1/2 to 3/4 cup of seasoned Italian bread crumbs
3-4 T mayonnaise (low fat is fine, but not fat free)
2 T chopped fresh basil leaves (I used frozen from the garden)
1 clove of garlic, pressed or finely diced.
1/4 c shredded parmesan
1 cup chopped shrimp (cooked)
1 roasted red pepper (capsicum) peeled, then finely diced
First, thaw your salmon if using frozen. Lightly salt and pepper the fillets, then make a pocket in each fillet by slicing most of the way through the fillet, leaving both ends uncut. Open a little wider with your fingers. If a single fillet is cut thin, instead, roll up in pinwheel fashion, rather than cut a pocket.
Place chopped shrimp, red pepper dices, chopped basil and garlic, and 3 T of mayonnaise in a small bowl. Mix lightly, add parmesan and 1/2 cup of bread crumbs. Take tablespoons of stuffing, and press together in clean hands to make a stuffing ball. Add a little mayo or breadcrumbs to make it just right, to hold together fairly well. Put a stuffing ball into the pocket in the salmon fillet, and mound a little on the top.
When you've stuffed all 8 pockets, put on an oiled baking sheet and bake about 15 minutes, or until the salmon begins to flake. Remove from oven, and cover with foil for another two minutes, until salmon temperature rises to 130* or fish flakes easily with a fork.
Delicious with spring asparagus, young peas, and pierogies with browned butter. Because Upstate New York pierogies and Washington state (pacific) salmon are a match made in heaven. Just like FarmBoy and me. If you're not feeding lots of little ones like we are, you might even want to add some cajun or creole seasoning and kick it up a notch.
Now that's good food, well earned, after saving the village from a herd of marauding goats. Eat your heart out.
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