Maple Dijon Glazed Salmon is simple to make and has 3 ingredients. Or 5 if you count salt and pepper. Basically you stir together 2 parts maple syrup and 1 part Dijon mustard. Add a bit of pepper. Pat your salmon dry with some paper towel and season with salt. Heat your pan, add the salmon, pour the glaze over, put the pan in the oven and that’s it!
OK, there’s a few little points to add but really, it’s that simple.
First, use a cast iron pan if you can. And if the weather is cooperative, cook it outdoors. I have an electric single burner that I use for outdoor cooking but the barbecue makes a great outdoor oven as well. If you don’t have cast iron, use a heavy oven proof sauté pan. More on the cast iron pan later.
Next, you don’t need any oil in the pan, salmon has enough natural oil. Just heat the pan before you add the salmon and it shouldn’t stick. If you’re cooking indoors you need to preheat the oven anyway so put the pan in at 350 degrees for 10 minutes and it’s good to go! Move the pan to the burner set around medium, carefully place the salmon in the centre and let it sear on the bottom a few minutes before you pour the glaze over.
Let the glaze caramelize a bit on the bottom and around the edges, then put the pan back in the oven to finish. If you’re using the barbecue, turn the burners down and close the lid. It should only take about 10 minutes more.
If you’re using the oven, turn the broiler on for the last few minutes and you’ll get a nice caramelized top too!
But your kitchen will stink a bit.
Cooking time is dependent on how thick your filet is. Somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes for a 1/2 to 1 inch thick piece. If you take a fork and insert it into the thickest part, give it a slight twist and if you can see the meat flaking it’s done.
Use 1 tsp Dijon and 2 tsp maple syrup for 2 servings. I like to use grainy dijon but any dijon will do.
Finally, buying the salmon can get quite confusing. Farmed vs wild. Atlantic vs Pacific. Fresh vs frozen. And even then, do you really know for sure? I chose a fresh skinless Atlantic filet from New Brunswick. Wild caught Pacific Red Salmon is my preference but it’s not in season quite yet. I did a little reading on the Agriculture and Agri Food Canada website and I actually learned a little bit about buying salmon. My best advice, talk to the staff at the seafood counter or fish market. They will help you choose what’s best for you and your budget.
If I lived on the coast it would be so much easier!
The perfect accompaniment for this Maple Glazed Salmon is a salad with a balsamic glaze like Spinach Salad with Maple Roasted Pecans and Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette.
Or a beet and goat cheese salad. With sautéed beet greens. Healthy overload!
Cast Iron Pans
I wasn’t always a fan of cast iron. Well, I guess I should say I just didn’t know how to season it, how to use it and how to care for it. It’s a learning curve for sure and there are many different opinions about seasoning, cleaning etc.
Here’s what I’ve learned.
- Cast iron pans come pre seasoned now but it’s best to season them a few times before using them. Rub them inside and out, including the handle with an unsaturated food grade oil. But not olive oil. It should be a type that can withstand a high heat. Rub it in well and make sure there’s no drips or puddles left. Lay it facing down in the oven set around 400 degrees. Turn the oven off after an hour and leave it in until it cools. Repeat a few more times. It will be ready to use.
- The more you use the pan the better seasoned it gets.
- Yes, I wash it. In soap and water. Of course I do! I cook fish in it after all…and I gently scrub it if there’s anything sticking. Don’t worry, it’s fine. Just make sure you dry it off well. Leaving it in a warm oven helps make sure there’s no moisture left on the pan when you put it away. If the seasoning starts to look a bit dull, just re-season it as described above.
I have 2 sizes of cast iron pans now and I take one with me when we head south for extended winter holidays.
Right now Mr. H is playing his guitar and singing “I’ve got the cast iron blues. Don’t give up on your cast iron pan!”
He’s right. Don’t give up on it. Keep using it. You won’t regret it.