WCL: Mark DeCarlo is cooking at the Taste of Chicago

It's Taste of Chicago time!

Mark is out getting a sneak peek of what's going on. He's dancing up a storm and learning some moves from the Chicago Summer Dance Instructors. It's a free summer program where you can learn the steps and then try out your moves to live music. Find out more here.

Then, Mark is in the cooking tent getting a lesson from Chicago Chef and Food Network Star contestant Judson Allen. He's cooking some fabulous salmon. The recipe is below.

Learn more about the Taste of Chicago and all the food, music and festivities here.

Chef Judson Allen's recipe:

Macadamia Nut Crusted Salmon Stuffed w/ Shitake Mushrooms, Herbed Goat Cheese, Arugula and Lemon
(This is not your ordinary stuffed salmon; rather, it embodies an explosion of FLAVORS that meld perfectly together. This salmon is stuffed w/ Shitake Mushrooms, Herbed Goat Cheese, Spicy Arugula, and Lemon. It is crusted with Macadamia Nuts, broiled to perfection and accompanied w/ a Arugula Pesto. It is served w/ Roasted Baby Top Carrots infused w/ Honey, Vanilla and Citrus.)
By: Chef Judson Todd Allen "Architect of Flavor"

15-20 Minutes

20 Minutes


6 ounce Salmon (fresh, skinned) ? 2 thick pieces of salmon are ideal
1 tablespoon Pecorino cheese, shredded
¼ cup Chopped Macadamia Nuts
½ cup Shitake Mushrooms (sliced)
2 cups Fresh Arugula
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Granulated garlic powder
1 lemon (sliced into rings)
1 teaspoon Smoked paprika
½ teaspoon Fresh dill, chopped
1 teaspoon Fresh cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon Chipotle hot sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon White Wine
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Fresh lemon juice

Arugula Pesto:

1 cup Fresh Arugula
2 Tbs - Pecorino Cheese
1 Tbs - Pine Nuts
1/3 Cup Olive oil
1 Clove Garlic, minced
1 tsp. Lemon Juice
1 teaspoon Fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon Cracked black pepper
½ teaspoon Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Take a 5-6 oz piece of fresh salmon (if frozen, please allow time to unthaw in the refrigerator) and use a paring knife to cut a 2 -3 inch deep slit into the salmon creating a pocket for the filling.

In a small mixing bowl combine your lemon juice, dill, garlic, hot sauce, mustard, pepper, and white wine. Place fish pieces in a dish and generously pour marinade over the fish. Cover with a lid or plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes in refrigeration. Remember for more pronounced flavors, the salmon can sit overnight as well.

To make the pesto, Prepare an ice water bath in a large bowl, and bring a large pot of water to a boil. Put the arugula in a large sieve and plunge it into the boiling water. Immediately immerse all the arugula and stir so that it blanches evenly. Blanch for about 15 seconds. Remove, shake off the excess water, then plunge the arugula into the ice water bath and stir again so it cools as fast as possible. Drain well.

Squeeze the water out of the arugula with your hands until very dry. Roughly chop the arugula and put in a blender. Add the garlic, salt and pepper to taste, olive oil, pine nuts, lemon, parsley to the blender. Blend for at least 30 seconds. In this way the green of the arugula will thoroughly color the oil. Add the cheese and pulse to combine.

Stuff the seasoned salmon with the mushrooms, arugula, lemon and goat cheese. Top with the chopped macadamia nuts and broil in the oven on 450 degrees for approximately 15 minutes until golden and the salmon is firm yet moist. Depending on the intensity of your broiler, keep an eye out; you don't want to burn the dish.

Serve with your pesto and lemon wedges garnish.

2 Servings