I am an avid salmon-hater. I'd literally rather eat my own foot than even buying the fishy stuff. But as of lately, my husband and I have been trying to eat a tad bit healthier. And unfortunately for me, my mountain man is an avid salmon-lover. So, when we were going over healthy dinner options, he asked me if I was willing to give it one more try and make salmon for a weekday meal. I knew that in order for me to eat it, I would have to try and mask the fishy flavor that gives me the goosies (shutter). I eventually decided upon dry rubbing the filets in a southwestern spice mix that you broil in the oven until it blackens just slightly. After that, you just brush on the smallest amount of maple syrup to give it a little bit of sweetness. Now you've got this smokey, spicy blackened salmon that is cooked just perfectly with a candied flavor, which perfectly complements the bold southwestern seasoning. But what really takes this dish over-the-top is the marinated avocado salsa! This salsa is essentially a more rustic guacamole because it has big chunks of avocado instead of being finely mashed. The addition of the extra virgin olive oil gives it such a luscious texture, it feels like absolute velvet. However, the biggest compliment I could give it would be that it completely hides all of the fishy flavor that I have hated my entire life! We have made this dish 4-5 times since and I gobble up the whole thing, which is newsworthy. I decided to finish up the meal with some sauteed bell peppers and onions, but I also think that rice, black beans, or a salad would go great with this meal! Enjoy y'all :)
For the Maple Glazed Southwestern Salmon:
1t Smoked Paprika
1t Chili Powder
¼t Cumin + Coriander
1t Salt + Fresh Cracked Pepper
4 Salmon Filets
2T Maple Syrup
Fresh Minced Cilantro, For Sprinkling
For the Marinated Avocado Salsa:
3 Ripe Avocados, Sliced
1 Lime, Zested + Juiced
1 Large Shallot, Minced
1 Clove of garlic, Finely Minced into a Paste
1-2 Fresh Jalapenos, Minced (depends on your spice preference)
2T Fresh Cilantro, Roughly Chopped
Kosher Salt + Fresh Cracked Pepper, To Taste
1. Preheat your oven to broil, set an oven rack about 6 inches from the top of the oven, and line a baking shit with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
2. For the Marinated Avocado Salsa: In a mixing bowl, add in the sliced avocado, followed by the lime zest, lime juice, EVOO, minced shallot and garlic, fresh jalapenos, roughly chopped cilantro, kosher salt, and fresh cracker pepper. Toss all of the ingredients together, so that the avocados are covered in the lime. The sliced avocado should have some still some large chunks, instead of being like guacamole. Set the marinated avocado in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it with the salmon.
3. For the Maple Syrup Glazed Southwestern Salmon: Mix together all of the spices together into a bowl and place the salmon onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the spice mixture heavily and evenly all over the filets of fish. Broil for 5 minutes, remove the pan from the oven, and brush the salmon with the maple syrup. Place the pan back into the oven and broil for one more minute.
4. Assembling the Salmon: Remove the glazed and blackened salmon from the oven onto a serving plate and top it with a large serving of the marinated avocado salsa. I served our dinner with sautéed bell peppers and onions, but rice and black beans would be a great option as well!