If you are like me, when it comes to salmon (or other seafood, for that matter) you:
a) are very choosy with recipes since salmon isn’t available/ultra-affordable where you/I live.
b) love salmon so very much that you also don’t want the chosen recipe to be a big, huge disappointment because it may cause you to weep at which point you’ll feel a little silly for crying over fish.
Salmon ranks right up there with food-that-I-love. However, we eat it rarely and when we do I stick with my tried-and-true recipes because I know I’ll love them which makes me feel better about justifying the cost for the salmon in the first place. And I probably don’t need to mention that living in landlocked Northern Minnesota doesn’t exactly mean I have fresh, affordable fish at my fingertips.
I took a risk trying this recipe because it clearly didn’t fit into salmon recipes I’ve tried and loved before, but I trust my friend, Michelle, who gave it to me and know she has great food taste. Don’t you love knowing people like that? Me, too.
I’m here to say that the risk was well worth the taking. In fact, I think this salmon is my all-time favorite preparation so far. The fish marinates in a simple maple mixture complimented with a few savory flavors and is then crusted with toasted pecans, a bit of salt and baked to golden deliciousness.
I am hereby in love with maple marinades. A perfect, perfect flavor profile for my beloved salmon. I served this with steamed broccoli and the ever-fantastic golden skillet potatoes. Winner, winner salmon dinner.
- 2 to 2 1/2 pounds salmon fillets
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1/2 cup pecans
- Salt for sprinkling
- Fresh lemon wedges for serving
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Stir in the maple syrup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, and ground mustard. Stir over medium heat until the mixture is warmed through, 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
- While the marinade is cooling, pour the pecans into a dry skillet and heat over medium heat, tossing frequently, until golden and toasted. Remove from heat; let the pecans cool to room temperature and then chop finely.
- Place the salmon fillets in a gallon-sized ziploc bag. Pour the maple marinade over the salmon, coating the salmon pieces evenly. Seal the bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place the toasted, chopped pecans on a plate or shallow pie dish. Remove the salmon from the refrigerator. Dip the top side of each salmon fillet in the pecan crumbs pressing the salmon lightly into the pecans so they adhere to the top of the salmon. Place the fillets pecan-side up on the prepared baking sheet.
- Sprinkle the salmon with a pinch of salt.
- Bake the salmon for 20-22 minutes until cooked through but still tender inside (not overcooked). The salmon should flake easily with a fork but still be soft and not dry.
- Serve immediately with fresh lemon wedges.
Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Michelle (omitted brown sugar from marinade, simplified baking instructions)