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Monday, November 8, 2010

Shagbark Hickory Dijon Salmon

Poor Connie.  He loves sushi salmon.  And, he loves smoked salmon.  As long as it's not cooked smoked salmon.  Forget about making a quiche with smoked salmon.  That makes it taste like COOKED salmon.  I think I've mentioned the time we went to three dinner parties in the course of a couple of months and each hostess served cooked salmon.  Connie soldiered his way through each of the dinners and requested that I not say anything to the hostesses.  Here's the big problem.  I LOVE cooked salmon.  Back in my single days it was a staple.  I'd buy fresh salmon at Sam's and toss it on the grill and freeze individual portions.  Since I met Connie six years ago, though, my salmon eating has been limited to restaurants.  So, about six months ago he said he'd work on liking it so I could have it to eat.  What a sweetheart, eh?  He really is an incredibly wonderful human being!!!  The first recipe I made went over pretty well.  It was fresh salmon slathered with marmalade then smoked in the grill.   I'd be happy having that about once a week. 

So, one day while reading recipes on Foodbuzz, I ran across one with maple syrup and dijon mustard. I thought that might work.  As always, though, I substituted my beloved shagbark hickory syrup for the maple syrup.  It's a little smokier, less sweet and lighter.  Perfect for salmon.  Indeed it was.  Connie would've preferred this smoked like the other was.  I didn't care.  It was fantastic.  I ate leftover salmon all week.  And, if I have to admit it, I was pretty happy I didn't need to share :-)  Here's the link to the shagbark hickory syrup.

Salmon with Shagbark Hickory Syrup and Dijon Mustard 

1 large salmon filet
2 t dijon mustard
3 T shagbark hickory syrup or maple syrup
1 1/2 T brown sugar
1 T olive oil
1 t thyme

Mix the marinade. 

Slather it on the salmon. 

Grill it.  Well, it's not really that easy a decision...  You can grill it on direct heat and get all kinds of wonderful sweet, brown crunchy pieces (I nibbled so many of these BEFORE I served dinner that Connie asked my if that WAS my dinner!)  Or you can grill the salmon on indirect heat.  If you've got a gas grill, you have the heat on on half of your burners and cook the salmon on the other half.  If you've got a charcoal grill, you do the same with the charcoal.  Then, your next choice is whether you smoke the salmon or not.  If you choose to cook the salmon on direct heat, you're probably going to want to keep the lid open so you can spray down flare-ups.  That rather negates the whole smoking scheme.  So, if you're going to cook the salmon on indirect heat and you'd like to smoke it, have at it.  Actually, that's what I'd recommend if you're using the indirect heat method.  Without the flames caramelizing some of the marinade, you won't have as much flavor - unless you smoke it...  Now, for the last choice, how well done?  Some folks like their salmon done as in well done.  Not me.  I like some pink in the middle.  Medium rare.  I think it tastes less fishy that way and, super double bonus, it's easier to heat up later without overcooking. 

Many thanks to my fellow blogger at Yummo Eating for this fantastic recipe!



It sounds lovely! I've never heard of the shagbark syrup. I'll have to look for that!

Monet said...

Now if only Ryan had the same sentiment...because I too would be more than happy to eat this entire fillet of fish! This sounds delicious. Thank you for sharing!

Toby said...

and the salmon in the photo - perfectly cooked.

Today is Market day - I think,I know what we're having tonite!