Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Maple Glazed Salmon

Captain's Log

What's that, you say? Lenore, you promised to keep blogging even after you got a job? You see, I've already written about most of my "greatest hits," so I'm having to dig a little deeper for blogworthy recipes. And it's harder to "dig deep" and "cook creatively" when all I want to do is prop my feet up and eat takeout. Clearly, blogging from here onward will be more of a process. But my commitment remains.

Back to business!

I first started making maple-y salmon many years ago and I am constantly changing the recipe/method. Here I will document what I did most recently, and then if I try it again in the next few months I'll post a "here's what was different" write-up. You know, for educational purposes.

When we moved to the Pacific Northwest, I was hoping to have better access to affordable Pacific salmon. I've been partial to wild Pacific salmon for a while, anyway, and I thought living closer to the point of origin would cut some costs. Unfortunately, the market is the market, and wild Pacific salmon is still pretty expensive out here. But it is definitely fresher than what I would get in the east! Anyway, I saw it on sale for $9.99/lb this week and we decided to give it a go.

I started with one pound of Sockeye fillet:
Lovely, deep, natural pink
And I prepared a marinade using these ingredients:
Dijon mustard, soy sauce, maple syrup, lemon juice, shallot, brown sugar
I would estimate it was about 1/8c soy, juice from 1/3 lemon, 3T maple, 2tsp dijon, half a shallot (grated), and 1/4c brown sugar. And, I mean, a few dashes of hot sauce never killed anyone. I also threw in a small amount of these:
Frozen ginger (which grates in to ginger snow!) and toasted sesame oil
I only added a tiny bit (1/8tsp oil, 1/4tsp ginger) of these ingredients due to their potency. Here's an action shot of me grating the shallot into the marinade:
All in all it created about 1/2c of liquid, which I then added to the salmon in a freezer bag.
I let this sit in the refrigerator for half an hour. When time was up, I preheated our toaster oven to about 425°. I poured the marinade into a saucepan, and placed the fish on a foil-covered and lightly oiled baking pan. 
See how it has buckled a little? That's from the lemon juice, which has started to "cook" the fish, as in ceviche.
Then I roasted the fish in our toaster oven for 10 minutes. While it cooked, I started to reduce the marinade so it could become a thick, sweet sauce.
I also added a few slices of shallot, a squirt more of lemon juice, and a little more maple syrup.

After ten minutes of cooking, I took the fish out...
..arranged some rings of shallot on top...
And I gently drizzled some of the thickened sauce overtop of the salmon, trying not to disturb the shallot rings too much:
Bonus: the shallots held the sauce onto the salmon, like little bowls!
I put the salmon back in the toaster oven for another 5 minutes, this time using a higher rack so the top of the salmon could get a little more direct heat. I also boosted the temperature on the boiling sauce during this time so it could thicken even more.
Dark, rich, sweet, thick
And here's the finished product, with the thickened sauce drizzled overtop.
This would be divine dunked in mashed potatoes.
I probably could have cooked it less, since salmon is not one of those proteins that MUST be cooked all the way through. (And, really, silky soft medium-rare salmon is a treat for the senses.) So perhaps next time I'll do just 8 mins in the beginning, then top with shallots and sauce, and then 2-4 mins (broiling?) at the end.

You should try this!


  1. I am so hungry...

  2. Hi! I have a question: It looks like you peel your ginger before freezing. Did you intentionally do that (or maybe it just came that way)? I put it in the freezer w/ the bark on it but have always wondered if that's the best way. (The bark makes its way into the food but it's never bothered me.) Also: how do you store it? In a bag? Tupperware? Foil?

    Also: I'm trying to do better with making big meals that last all week (for lunches etc). Can you make any recommendations?

    Feel free to save these for a special Q+A entry if you prefer. :)

    1. I was going to do a Q&A post, but clearly it's taking me too long... so here are your answers:

      - I did peel the ginger (using a spoon) and I store it, in the freezer, in a ziploc bag. I do this because it's what Food Network chefs do. The peeling was a P in the A, but I don't get the barky shards in my food, so... that's good..?

      - Aside from the obvious beans/stews/etc., you can play with meat as an accent rather than a centerpiece and use it throughout the week. So for example you might buy a super cheap, thin steak, cook it one night, then slice it up very thinly and use it in a quesadilla, a pasta, a salad... stretch a tiny tough steak for several meals. Roasted chicken is also awesome for this kind of thing. You can also make "raw" salads from tough veggies like brussels sprouts, and then enjoy how they give in to your vinaigrette as the week progresses. Example: I sliced some B-Sprouts very thinly, added them to a bowl with carrot ribbons (slice it or just use a peeler) and some shards of onion. Make a vinaigrette, pour overtop, and let it sit at least a few hours. Toasted nuts would be awesome on top. It'll taste very Healthy on Day 1, but it'll get more and more tender each day. By the end of the week you can use it as a zippy slaw on a sandwich or something.

  3. Wow that last image looked straight out of a magazine!
    What about a recipe for steel trout? Just got some at seafood store and it's yhe same color as the salmon. Filleted. Ideas?
    thanks, Mom

    1. You can treat steelhead trout the same way you would salmon!

  4. I аm regular visitor, ɦow ɑre you everybody?
    This post pоstеd at this web page is gеnuinely plеasant.

    my blog: orquеstas de puerto rico ()

  5. I just made this, Lenore! It was for my dad's birthday, and he loved it. I served it with a roasted chickpea and cucumber salad. Tasty. (Jana)