Swimmin’ Upstream, Maple Syrup and Loozeeanna!
You might ask what these three things have in common.
Dear readers…I am sure that you are aware that salmon swim upstream and when we think of salmon we think of the speckled salmon mostly in the Pacific Northwest. However, the Atlantic region also has salmon…..
AND salmon can be found in Maine
I am sure you know the following:
“Wild salmon begin their lives in rivers and streams, migrate to the sea, where they spend the next several years until they mature, then return to the same rivers and streams to spawn and die. It is a true life cycle, ending where it began.” (Unless you are a Maine landlocked salmon, but that is another story)
So today we are going to talk salmon.
I grew up on salmon patties made from a can of pink (or red) salmon.
My Mother would put the salmon in a large clear bowl, add a few crushed saltine crackers, a bit of minced onion and an egg for binding it all together. Then she would shape into patties and fry in a bit of oil in a cast iron skillet. Yummy! You can see the recipe here.
My Mother was a creature of habit and the salmon patties (which took about 5 or 6 minutes to cook) would be accompanied with potatoes, fried with chopped onion and sometimes bits of bacon and a pot of creamed peas.
I loved this meal.
Another thing she and my grandmother cooked using canned salmon was Salmon Soup. You will see the recipe here in my collection of soups. Very few ingredients, most of what you already have in your pantry. Delish.
However, my Mother never used fresh salmon.
Nope! Perhaps it was because we lived in the Midwest.
I really don’t know why but it wasn’t until I married the Captain that I began to appreciate the good tasting fresh salmon.
And Salmon is so good for you. Salmon provides important amounts of the antioxidant amino acid taurine, and is an excellent source of vitamin B12, vitamin D and selenium. It is also a good source of niacin, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, phosphorus and vitamin B6. Add the choline, pantothenic acid, biotin and potassium and Salmon’s nutritional content makes it one of the world’s healthiest foods.
I have been experimenting with “rubs” for salmon because even though my traditional baked salmon has a wonderful fresh citrus-y flavor of lemon and dill..and my Chipotle Salmon with Buttermilk/Yogurt Sauce is so good (see recipe here), one can never have enough fresh salmon recipes. Plus,I like to add lots of spices.
You may ask the difference between Loozeeanna cajun spices and Loozeeanna Creole spices, and you will hear different answers… but I find the notable difference is in paprika. Pardon my spelling of the state of Louisiana, I love saying it like the late Chef, Justin Wilson said it. I have several of his Cajun cookbooks and loved his cooking show (gone for over 20 years now) and each time I read his recipes I can hear his accent.
But I digress…..I believe the Creole and Cajun spices are very similar. In my experience, Creole seasoning is a bit sweeter and mild while Cajun seasoning is more spicy. I like spicy.
The base of a good Cajun spice is equal amounts of cumin, coriander and paprika with garlic, chili pepper flakes or chili powder or cayenne…depending on how hot you want your spice to be. I also like to add oregano, salt and cracked pepper.
The rub can be made anyway you would like… with as few as, or more than, the quantities suggested in the recipe.
Experiment, it can be fun.
As for the other fresh salmon recipe, it has a sweeter flavor rather than a spicy flavor.
Think Maple syrup!
This salmon is marinated first at room temperature in pure maple syrup, soy sauce (sodium free if you prefer) and garlic. Then it is baked in the oven until tender and flaky and then the best part is when you place the salmon under the broiler for about 5 minutes allowing the glaze to caramelize….oh so good!
However, please watch it closely as you might get the glaze a little too brown….I did that as you can see in the picture above, but the flavor was still wonderful. The second time I made it, I was more watchful and it came out perfect.
Make a salad and bake a potato and yummy yummy for the tummy.
The two recipes for fresh salmon are below, printable of course.
The first is the Cajun rub which is used a lot with Loozeeanna (Louisiana) fresh salmon.
The second is a maple syrup sauce with pure maple syrup from the New England area that becomes a delicious glaze on fresh salmon.
Both are delicious and I am anxious for you to tell me your favorite fresh salmon recipe.
Have a Blessed day!
- 1 lb skin-on-salmon fillet
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 lemon, halved
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Line baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Mix the spices for the Cajun spice blend and set aside
- Place the salmon, skin side down, on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Drizzle olive oil over salmon and squeeze 1/2 of the lemon juice over the top.
- Spread garlic over the fillet.
- Using your hands, rub the Cajun spices evenly over the salmon (do not touch your eyes or mouth)
- Bake for 20-25 minutes.
- *Depending on the thickness of your fillet, it could take more or less time.
- When the thickest part of the salmon is easily flaked with a fork, the salmon is done cooking. Remove from oven and squeeze remaining lemon juice over the salmon and serve immediately.
- *Keep an eye on the salmon and check after 15 minutes.
- 2 pounds skinless salmon fillets
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Mix maple syrup, soy sauce and garlic powder and set aside
- Place the salmon fillets in a non-stick 8x12 inch baking dish and pour the maple syrup mixture evenly over and under the salmon making sure to coat all sides
- Marinate the salmon for at least 20 minutes at room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Recoat the salmon with the syrup mixture in the baking dish and slightly separating each piece.
- Put the salmon in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- Switch the oven control to broil.
- Take out the salmon, carefully turn the fillets over with a spatula and return to the top oven shelf.
- Broil for 5 minutes or until the glazing begins to caramelize
- Remove the maple glazed baked salmon from the oven and serve.
- Watch the salmon and do not overcook