Inspired by a recipe idea I saw in the Whole Foods holiday magazine for roasted salmon stuffed with fennel, olives, and oranges. The clever idea was to piece two salmon filets together and bind it with twine it to look like a whole fish. For our twist on it, we made one of our favorite fennel and apple bread stuffing and covered the salmon with lemon slices and dill. The same stuffing could be used for a chicken or turkey as well as the salmon which would be a great way to save time and link the dishes together for a holiday dinner.
To make this dish, select two skin-on salmon fillets (about a pound and a half each) that are matching in thickness and shape. You will also need one or two lemons sliced into rounds, one cup of apple cider, and 1/2 cup white wine for the roasting pan. Make stuffing (recipe below). Lay long piece of twine in roasting pan and place one salmon fillet skin down on top of the twine. Mound the stuffing on the fish up to about a half-inch from the edge all around.
Carefully place the remaining piece of salmon on top matching the shape. Press down gently. Wrap the twine around the fish several times knotting at the top as you would tie a roast. Tuck lemon slices and fennel fronds into the twine. (see picture above) . Pour wine and 1 cup of cider into the pan and place in a 375 degree oven. Cook until internal temperate reaches 165 degrees. Rest at least five minutes, cut and remove twine and slice.
1 large loaf crusty bread sliced and toasted
1 medium onion (sliced)
1 apple (peeled, cored, and sliced)
1/2 cup fennel bulb (thinly sliced, save the fronds for decoration)
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
3 cups low salt vegetable broth
1 cup apple cider
1/2 tsp paprika
Heat a medium skillet and melt butter (or olive oil) and saute the onion and fennel and set aside. Crumble the bread into chunks and place in a large bowl. Add the apples, sautéed onions, fennel, broth, and cider. Beat the egg and mix in well. Season with paprika, salt, and pepper.