A combination of high heat, warm spices, and citrus aromas gift the home chef with an easy way to create a blackened wild salmon dinner with simple prep and high expectations.
While this recipe makes two adult servings, it of course can be doubled for a family. Seasoning is always to taste: add what you love!
Start your preparation with opening a bottle of wine to air out (and sip on!) while cooking. Many automatically reach for a Chardonnay when cooking fish or salmon. If I had created a lighter salmon with just olive oil and some herbs de Provence, for example, or used a creamy sauce I would do the same. However, considering the depth of flavor and punch in my blackening spice, I went for a Pinot Noir.
A perfect wine for this meal is either from the Santa Rita Hills or Santa Maria Highlands in California or from Burgundy, France. Definitely look for a Pinot Noir as it will have earthy, dark red fruit, with some spices. This will add depth to your dining experience, and perfectly compliment the rich salmon flavors.
Plus, of course, a little wine in the glass while cooking creates for great anticipation. Heck, share a glass with someone who’s assisting or watching you cook. We enjoyed a glass of Louis Latour 2005 Chassagne-Montrachet from Burgundy.
While some opt to melt butter over the salmon, I started with avocado oil and fresh citrus as a base, and poured a small shot of whiskey and drizzle of balsamic for depth. Once seasoned to taste with the blackened spices and a little sugar, I let it sit while switching my focus to the rice. That allows your spices, citrus, balsamic and sprinkles of raw sugar to set into the room temperature salmon.
While letting the juices soak into the salmon, I began prepping the wild rice with a 2:1 ratio of liquid-to-rice. For added flavor, I opted to split the liquid with equal parts veggie broth and fresh-squeezed orange juice. After the liquids came to a boil, I threw in a sprig of fresh rosemary and dashes allspice.
When the liquid came back to a boil, I followed bag instructions and turned the heat to low then covered the pot for about 15-20 minutes.
While the rice was cooking, I turned back to my citrus-soaked salmon.
My recipe does not require searing the salmon, but rather roasting it in a 450° oven for 12 to 15 minutes. A medium cooked salmon is about 135°. The goal is to quickly roast the salmon while creating a crunchy layer where the blackening spices create depth notably on top but throughout salmon flesh.
For added punch, fresh cracked pepper and red pepper flakes are a great addition.
The salmon may be done a little before the rice, which is fine since meat and fish both like to rest between oven-and-table.
Serve rice and salmon over a bed of kale. I always first massage kale and other stiff greens with oil to breakup the stiff fibers. For this, I chose a very light dressing of only a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and pepper.
Take a picture of the final product and dig in!
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 2 6oz salmon filets (I always get wild caught)
- 1 lemon
- 1 orange
- 4 tbls of avocado or olive oil
- 2 tbls melted butter (optional)
- 1 shot of your favorite whiskey
- 1-2 tbls of raw sugar
- 4 tbls balsamic vinegar
Blackening spice ingredients list:
- Cayenne pepper
- Red pepper flakes
- Fresh cracked pepper
- Onion powder (optional)
- Garlic powder (optional)
Rice ingredients list:
- 1/2 cup wild rice
- 2 dashes of allspice
- fresh rosemarry
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
- 1/2 cup vegtable brooth
- zest from 1 orange
* Always check salmon and other fish and meats to ensure both are cooked to FDA standards.
Did you enjoy the recipe? If you made it, I would love to know! Tag me when you post a picture so I can check it out, or if you’re not the food-posting kind, feel free to send me your thoughts in the comments below, into my DMs or send me an email.