The following recipe and photography is courtesy of Graham R. and his dog, Carl. For more of their delicious food ventures, visit them on Instagram @cookingwithcarrrl.
If you’re anything like me, you find yourself in the doghouse rather often. I mean well, I promise! Luckily for me, I can cook, and this salmon recipe has saved me more than a handful of times. Everyone needs a signature dish that never misses and I’m happy to share mine: Crab Stuffed Salmon! Whenever I slide a plate of this in front of my wife she is overjoyed and forgives me for all of my wrong doings that day! I call it my “get out of jail free card.”
This dish starts with top quality salmon fillets. Heinen’s always has a great selection of salmon to choose from like wild caught, Irish farm-raised, arctic and more! Each type has a unique flavor that salmon lovers will enjoy. Check with your local Heinen’s fishmonger to learn what type of salmon works best for you! When I am stuffing salmon, I typically pick the Irish farm-raised fillets for a couple of reasons:
- These fillets tend to be thicker, which allows more room for the crab stuffing.
- This fish is more mild in flavor. It isn’t “fishy” and works great with the crab filling. I recommend this as a great beginner fish for someone who isn’t too keen on seafood.
The final piece to this enchanting puzzle is the crab stuffing. Listen, I use cream cheese all the time in my recipes, but it doesn’t need an invite to every flavor party. Most stuffed salmon recipes I’ve come across use cream cheese as a binder or even a main ingredient. This drowns out the crab flavor, which is downright disrespectful! A little egg and a squirt of mayo will let the crab meat shine. Mix that with some freshly chopped green onion, lemon zest and parmesan cheese and you’re all set for a delectable meal.
Let’s get cooking!
- Cook time:
- Prep time:
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For the Crab Stuffed Salmon
- 2 lbs. Heinen’s salmon
- 8 oz. Boss Claw jumbo lump crab meat
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. parsley, minced
- 3 Tbsp. Heinen's breadcrumbs or crushed crackers
- 3 Tbsp. Heinen's 24-month aged Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 2 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. mayo
- 1 tsp. Heinen’s stone ground mustard
- 2 grilling planks, recommend but not required
For the Shallot Butter
- 5 Tbsp. Heinen's unsalted butter, divided
- 1/2 shallot, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp. your favorite seafood seasoning
- 2 Tbsp. white wine
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- Make the shallot butter in advance. Melt 1 Tbsp. of butter over medium heat. Once melted, add the seafood seasoning, shallot and garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes, watching carefully so it doesn’t burn. Add the white wine and lemon juice. Allow to reduce until half of the liquid is gone, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining butter and stir. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a bowl, combine the crab meat, breadcrumbs, green onion, parsley, lemon zest, cheese and Old Bay seasoning. Mix together gently, leaving that crab meat chunky.
- In a separate bowl, add the egg, mayo and mustard. Whisk well. Add this mixture to the crab mixture and fold it all together. Place into the refrigerator for 20 minutes to let the mix stiffen.
- While the crab is cooling, prepare the grill for cooking over indirect heat. If using a gas grill, only light one section of burners. The temperature should be between 375°F and 400°F. I highly recommend using wooden grilling planks for this recipe. It adds a wonderful smoky flavor and makes for an amazing presentation. Soak the boards for 20 minutes prior to grilling. If you do not have planks, use a grill-safe pan or even place the salmon directly onto the grill grates.
- Remove the salmon from the packaging and gently wash with cold water. Pat the salmon dry. This next part is up to you. You can leave the salmon fillet whole for easy serving and better presentation, or slice the fillet into 6 oz. portions. If you prefer the latter, but don’t want to slice the salmon yourself, Heinen’s fishmonger can slice them for you.
- Using a sharp knife, slice vertically down the salmon fillet to create a crevasse. Do not cut through the skin. Once you have made the first slit, slice about a half inch into the crevasse walls to create a bigger pocket.
- Season the salmon with your favorite seafood seasoning, like Old Bay. Add the crab mixture to the salmon. It will overflow out of the pocket, but that’s not a problem! Top the crab with 1 Tbsp. of the shallot butter. Place a few lemon slices on the cedar plank, then place the salmon on top.
- Place the plank on the grill and cover.
- Cooking times vary for each piece of fish, but 25 minutes is a good point to check for doneness. Cover with 2 Tbsp. of the butter and cook for 5 more minutes. Once the fish has reached a temperature of 145°F, remove it from the grill.
- Serve on the planks, if desired, with grilled veggies and a fresh Heinen’s baguette. Drizzle with more shallot butter and enjoy!