Few things beat having your sibling cross the Atlantic to come and visit you on you birthday! Well, he came bearing gifts, my birthday gift from the brother was a beautiful hand painted fish plate made by someone called Stir Crazy Mama. It was a beautiful piece and I will update this post with the platter pictures. Now, the salmon plate called for an instant salmon dish, instant in terms of concoction not really cooking time. A salmon dish with all the flavors of fall.
The air is fresh and chilly and the colors vivid and beautiful. It is my time of the year, the time when the kitchen is inviting. I have probably exhausted myself with all the pumpkins that we see around, I am often torn between wanting to get out and bring myself a huge pumpkin and then again, I think otherwise. For some people, Fall is the season of pumpkin spice, for me it is all of that and more, I think of nutmeg, ginger, fennel and slow cooking and baking. Most people who know me, probably know of my maple syrup addiction. It brings me back to home, this time of the year when I think of all the sweets that are made palm jaggery. Good maple syrup brings home the same deep flavors. If you are looking for more inspiration, you can check out the Canadian maple syrup website.
I have paired maple with salmon before, I feel that the combination is quite amazing, the dense and rich flesh of the salmon marries the beautiful rich sweetness of the maple and lives happily ever after. Today, I got bolder with my flavors and everyone including the kids loved it. Deepta’s palate has evolved nicely, she is now very adventurous and is curious about trying new flavors. The chili of course is still a deal breaker.
Today’s recipe did pack some mild heat, infused in the green ribbons of cilantro, poblano and peanuts. The salmon gets finished off with black and crushed red pepper. It works well as I can adjust the flavors based on preference. This is a great one dish meal and I rarely have any leftovers. However, if you have leftovers, the fish can be flaked and mixed with chives and a tablespoon of mayonnaise to form a light salad that can be used for sandwiches.
A flavor baked salmon dish with seasonal fall spices, maple syrup and a cilantro and cashew nut pesto dressing.
- For the Maple Masala dressing
- 11/2 teaspoons fennel
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 11/2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or salt to taste
- ¾ teaspoon red cayenne pepper
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- 11/2 limes (about 1/3 cup fresh lime juice)
- 2 pounds of salmon fillet (I used wild coho salmon)
- 1/3 cup raw, unsalted blanched peanuts or cashew nuts
- ¾ cup fresh cilantro
- 1 small poblano pepper
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Crush Red Pepper
- Grease a large baking sheet (I prefer this, instead of casserole pan for this recipe)
- Place the fennel, cumin and mustard seeds in a spice blender and grind to a powder.
- In a mixing bowl mix this with the ginger, soy sauce or salt, red cayenne pepper, maple syrup and the lime juice.
- Cut the salmon into 4 to 5 inch pieces.
- Add in the salmon and let it rest for about 20 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the salmon on the baking sheet and bake for about 12 minutes.
- While this is baking mince together the peanuts or cashews, cilantro and the seeded poblano peppers. This should be very finely minced so you can use a mini chopper if desired.
- Open the oven, and bring out the baking sheet.
- Shape the green mixture into ribbons and place in the center of the salmon pieces.
- Return to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes. It is very important not to over-cook the salmon.
- Remove from the oven and serve with freshly ground black pepper and crushed red pepper.
The prep time includes time for the salmon to marinate.