Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Baked Salmon with Cajun Brown Sugar Citrus Rub

Wild Alaskan salmon dusted with a brown sugar, lemon zest and Cajun seasoned rub and baked.
Wild Alaskan salmon dusted with a brown sugar, lemon zest and Cajun seasoned rub and baked.

Baked Salmon with Cajun Brown Sugar Citrus Rub

I just love Alton Brown. I am a fan of his show Good Eats (sadly, no longer on the air), and I have all of his books of the same name because they are a true encyclopedia of cooking in my opinion. If you like to learn the science behind foods, you'll enjoy these book and get a few recipes as a bonus.

In one of the Good Eats shows Alton does a series of recipes using whole salmon, and one of the recipes involved using a rub made with, of all things, brown sugar! Now you know that was right up my little ole Southern alley, and I just so happened to have a whole fillet of Wild Alaskan Keta Salmon that kept falling out of the freezer every time I opened the darned thing.

His recipe involved fresh Wild Sockeye Salmon - just a tad too high dollar for this Southern gal - and he was cooking strictly by broiling, and, well... my broiler and I don't tend to get along too well. Like Rachael Ray, I tend to burn everything under the broiler. And smoke up my house even if I don't. So, I made a few adaptations to the recipe that I think work.

I never thought to use brown sugar with salmon, but, I gotta say ... this was both different and unexpected, and just delicious! Do give it a try.

Recipe: Baked Salmon with Cajun Brown Sugar Citrus Rub

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Inactive time: 45 min
Cook time: 30 min
Total time: 1 hour 15 min

Yield: About 4 to 6 servings

  • 1 Wild Alaskan, skin-on Salmon fillet, about 1-1/2 to 2 pounds, pin bones removed if applicable
  • 1/3 cup of light brown sugar
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun or Creole seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama) or to taste, optional

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix together the brown sugar, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning. For easier clean up, line a baking sheet with foil and lay the salmon on top, skin side down. Spread the brown sugar mixture evenly on top of the salmon and allow it to rest at room temperature for 45 minutes.

Bake at 400 degrees F for roughly 20 to 30 minutes or until the thickest part of the fish reaches a minimum internal temperature of 131 Degrees F on an instant read thermometer. To keep the thinner tip piece from over-cooking, you can fold it over and secure it with a toothpick.

If desired, remove the salmon from the oven and turn the broiler on and pass the salmon under the broiler just until the sugars caramelize. Remove the salmon from the oven and allow to rest, uncovered, for about 5 minutes.

Teriyaki BBQ Glaze: Melt 1/2 stick butter with 1/4 cup each soy sauce and ketchup, 2 teaspoons Creole mustard, dash each of Worcestershire and hot sauce and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder. Brush on salmon as above and proceed with recipes.


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©Deep South Dish
Adapted from Alton Brown
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