I don't know why but I have been very hesitant to cook salmon. Until yesterday. I knew I had to do it soon or I'd go crazy thinking about it. My inspiration came from a delicious recipe for Maple Glazed Salmon that I found on Alanna's Kitchen Parade. It reminded me of the halibut my brother-in-law had made for us when we visited them a couple of months ago.
This is grilled halibut with ginger, citrus and watercress, a recipe from Williams-Sonoma's Fish, a book I highly recommend.
Like the halibut, I wanted to grill the salmon but the weather gods decreed otherwise. We had a major thunderstorm with lots of wind, hail, and bright bolts of lightning; so I decided to give in to the universe and baked it instead. What follows is my adaptation of Alanna's recipe, influenced by the halibut recipe from Fish.
- Small filet of salmon, between 1lb and 1.5lb
- 3/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger (optional)
- 1/4 cup coarsely crushed black pepper
- oil to grease foil
- Heat your oven to 500F and place the rack in the top most position. (I love to use the convection bake feature of my oven so I heated my oven to 475F instead of 500F.)
- Mix the maple syrup, soy sauce and ginger in a large bowl.
- Put the salmon in this marinade and marinate for 20 minutes.
- Line a baking tray with foil and grease with oil of your choice.
- Place the salmon on the tray, reserving the marinade for a sauce.
- Press the coarsely ground black pepper onto the salmon and bake for about 6-8 minutes depending on the thickness of the filet. The rule of thumb is 10 minutes per inch of thickness. The salmon is done when it turns pale pink.
- Heat the marinade in a saucepan till it boils and simmer it until the salmon is ready to be pulled out of the oven. This ensures that any fishy leftovers in the sauce are thoroughly cooked.
- Pour this marinade over the salmon just before serving for an additional kick.
I can't tell you just how ecstatic I am. This was quick, easy and Alanna's right, it is miracle food!
Alanna recommends marinating the salmon for 4 to 48 hours in the refrigerator. I didn't have that much time on hand because, as usual, I was scrambling to get dinner on the table before everyone fainted due to starvation. Fish from Williams-Sonoma recommends marinating fish for only 20 minutes; after this, they say, the fish begins to cook in the acids in the marinade. I usually marinate my fish upto 24 hours in the refrigerator. I have done this with delicate fish like pomfret, too and the flavor only gets enhanced. I have never seen any 'cooking' but then again my marinades have not been overly acidic. Since I did not have much time on hand, I decided to forego the marination; also, I knew that I was going to pour the sauce over the fish so I didn't think marinating was critical. Isn't it funny how we manipulate things to suit the situation at hand?!
Medha helped me crush the black pepper in my mortar and pestle. Oooh! Can I do that? She started coughing shortly thereafter because "it smelt bad" and left the rest of the job to me! Since Alanna recommended overdoing the pepper, that's exactly what I did! However, I didn't coat about 1/4 of the filet with black pepper in deference to tender taste buds.
I served the maple glazed salmon with black pepper and ginger on a bed of organic romaine lettuce and peach tea. This recipe is a keeper! I am very thrilled!
Thank you, Alanna!
More maple glazed salmon recipes:
Maple-glazed salmon from Green Mountain at Fox Run, a women's retreat in Vermont. This recipe uses some ginger, not as much as I did, along with dijon mustard and scallions but no black pepper.
Pepper-Crusted Maple-Glazed Salmon from Food Network, which recommends an ideal marinating time of 24 hours.