Mad About Food: Amazing appetizers

Stuffed Fried Salmon Bites are perfect for the upcoming holiday season or any get together

Mad About Food: Amazing appetizers

Stuffed Fried Salmon Bites are the perfect appetizers for any get together. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

I have never had a piece of salmon that I did not like. Whether farm raised or wild caught, I just love it — even minced in a croquettes with white rice and homemade biscuits.

Since it’s almost the holiday season, I thought I’d give it a fancy twist and try stuffing small pieces with a spinach and cream cheese mixture. It is not as easy as it sounds, but man, was it worth the effort and time to make these delicious appetizers. They just look yummy, too.

I used a salmon fillet and cut large enough cubes for a two-bite serving size. I figured this way it will be a satisfying couple of bites that are perfect for self serving with minimal mess. The seasoned mixture of spinach and cream cheese truly elevates the mild flavored flaky fish nicely.

I thought about adding some chopped shrimp to add a little more razzle dazzle, but thought let’s not push the envelope on a first trial basis. But the variations are endless. You can add whatever you’d like to the filling. Maybe try other seafood, vegetables, cheeses or even diced jalapenos with bacon crumbles.

It is a bit of a process with mixing, cutting, refrigeration/freezer, coating and frying, but this could make a great family project where even the little ones can get in on the fun. This appetizer would be a great crowd pleaser that is works great for the holidays, game days or just as some protein for your family meals. I’m not sure if it’s air fryer friendly because I’m old school. I use canola oil or vegetable oil for frying them up, but if you opt out of battering them, I’m sure it would be air fryer friendly.

Well, I just made myself hungry again. I’m not sure about you, but how about we roll up our sleeves, wash our hands and get started on creating our very own version of my new creation — Fried Stuffed Salmon Bites.

Reach Michelle Madden at Da Munchie Plug LLC on Facebook

These Stuffed Fried Salmon Bites are filled with cream cheese and spinach. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

Recipe

Fried Stuffed Salmon Bites

Ingredients

One full salmon fillet (about how much ounce-wise?)

I package of fresh or frozen spinach (defrost and drain)

1 package cream cheese, room temperature

Seafood seasoning to taste

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 teaspoon lemon pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

X egg

X flour

x cornmeal

Directions

Mix egg well in a small bowel. Place flour in a small bowel and place cornmeal in a third bowel and then set aside.

Using the thick portion of the salmon fillet, cut into 2 to 3 inch squares. Season with seafood seasoning. Then slit an opening right in the center of each square to form a small pocket.

Mix the cream cheese, remaining seasonings and spinach in a medium sized bowl. Then stuff the salmon bites with 1 tablespoon of the filling. Use the end of the spoon to push the filling in. (You can also use twine or toothpicks to hold the filling in while refrigerating/freezing.)

Next, dip the salmon bites into the egg mixture, followed by the flour, and then the egg mixture again and then cornmeal.

Set salmon bites on a lined baking sheet until all are filled and then refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. You also can freeze them from 15 minutes up to 5 days (see note).

Before pan frying the salmon bites on low to medium heat, coat a large frying pan with your choice of cooking oil. Use a wooden spoon or spatula or fish spatula to turn the salmon bites over after about 5 minutes of browning on the first side. You may then cover the pan and cook another 5 to 7 minutes to ensure all are fully cooked.

Then remove the salmon bites from the pan placing on a paper towel to drain the oil and then serve.

Note: If you choose to freeze the salmon bites, do not allow the squares to touch or they might stick to each other. Don’t defrost before frying.

Source: Michelle Madden

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