Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Raspberry Barbecue Salmon

Salmon is one of my all time favorite fishes and I could eat it pretty much daily cooked with nothing more than salt & pepper. It's not one of Matt's favs, though, so I'm often trying to come up with new and fun ways to prepare it.

A while back I came across a recipe for grilled blueberry barbecue salmon by Jessica from How Sweet It Is, and was intrigued. I happened to have all the ingredients on hand (even the blueberry balsamic!) Sunday night when I was plunked on a stool at our kitchen island sipping a Blue Moon trying to figure out how to cook my pink fish, but I really wasn't feeling the blueberry flavor that evening. I was in the mood for raspberries, though - they seemed much more bright and refreshing for a summer night - and I've had versions of raspberry salmon that were great, so I decided to give it a go. I took some cues from Jessica's recipe, but changed up quite a few things.

The sauce comes together in about 10 minutes, and is then slathered on a large fillet of salmon as its searing skin-side down in a cast iron skillet. I like using the cast iron for salmon because I can sear it to get a nice crunch, then finish it in the oven so it cooks perfectly. If you don't have cast iron, just cook it all the way in a pan, or all the way in the oven under a broiler. Either way works!

Salmon on salad is one of my top 5 summer meals, so once these beauties were cooked, onto salads they went. The salad, which was a combination of mesclun greens and arugula, carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, fresh raspberries and crumbled blue cheese, made the perfect base for the fish. I dressed the salad simply with balsamic vinegar, but the barbecue sauce mingled in with the lettuce and became a great dressing on its own.

I'm trying peaches next time. Oooh yes.

Raspberry Barbecue Salmon

Serves 2

3/4 pound fresh salmon
1/3 cup fresh raspberries
1/4 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. water

In a small pot, combine the raspberries and 1 Tbsp. water. Set over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, until the berries  start to break down. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the remaining water, and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and then reduce the heat to medium-low; cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. As the sauce thickens, add the additional 1 Tbsp. of water as needed, depending on how thick you like your sauce.

If using a cast iron skillet: Spray the pan with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the salmon skin side down. Sear the salmon for approximately 5 minutes, until the bottom of the fish turns opaque. Slather the top with barbecue sauce, then transfer the pan to the oven and broil on high heat for another 5 minutes, until top is crispy and fish is cooked through (it should still be slightly pink in the middle and only slightly firm). Top with remaining barbecue sauce and serve.

Alternate cooking method: Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and lay the salmon skin side down. Broil in the oven on high heat for 5 minutes, then top with barbecue sauce and broil for another 5 minutes.

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