Last summer, we were lucky enough to get a few beautiful pieces of sockeye salmon straight out of Alaska’s Copper River, onto the boat and overnighted our way. Yes, COVID can kiss my ass and all the other fishermen and fisherwomen in Alaska doing what they do best: F. I. S. H.: Did you know most Alaska “commercial” fishing boats are small-manned crews anyway, so social distancing was a given regardless of what some media outlets reported on opening day. So shout out and huge thank you to all those aforementioned fishermen and fisherwomen : )
Anyway, we cooked most of it (other recipe ideas below) that week but we froze one of the pieces.
TIP best way to freeze fresh fish, be it salmon or otherwise: rinse, pat dry, wrap tightly in saran wrap, then wrap a second time in tin foil.
And when it came time to cook it, we decided to try something entirely different … growing up I loved bacon. Kinda makes me cringe to admit that, but hey, it was what it was. And I loved scrambled eggs, so long as they were burnt and dry and kinda gross. I know. I know. I was so weird. Anyway, I used to slather my plate with maple syrup, sans the pancakes because … well, I didn’t like pancakes. Again, I know. I know. So weird. Anyway, I had an idea to try a little maple flavoring with the salmon and after seeing so many recipes for maple bourbon pork decided the combo just might work. And it does. Beautifully. Give it try : )
Bourbon Maple Orange Salmon
PREP TIME: 15 minutes plus 2-3 hours | COOK TIME: 20-25 minutes
- 1 good sized salmon fillet
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup bourbon
- ½ cup orange juice
- ½ cup vegan mayonnaise, optional
- Orange slices
- Lemon slices
- Fresh parsley, chopped
- 2-3 heads of garlic, sliced
- Cooking spray
- Salt and pepper
Combine syrup, bourbon, juice and mayo in a shallow but long dish. Place salmon fillet, flesh side down, in marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. When ready to cook, heat oven to 325 degrees, line baking dish with parchment paper or tin foil, spray with a little bit of cooking spray then carefully place salmon, skin side down, on paper. Pour marinade over the salmon and decorate with orange and lemon slices, fresh parsley and garlic slices. NOTE, if you want it a bit “creamier” smooth vegan mayo over the top before adding the orange and lemon slices. Lightly sprinkle sea salt and a little fresh ground pepper. Bake salmon in oven 20-25 minutes depending on thickness. Remove from heat and serve alongside your favorite grain … it’s great with couscous and a bed of greens tossed in a light vinaigrette. Enjoy!