Southwestern Maple Glazed Salmon with Pineapple Salsa
This maple glazed salmon was featured on the August cover of Cooking Light. It caught my eye as I was about to get in line at the grocery store and looked so good, I turned around and made a beeline to the fish counter instead. You basically make a homemade chili powder, dust it generously over salmon fillets, then broil and glaze with maple syrup. The spices create a delicious top crust and add a hint of heat and bitterness to balance out the sweetness of the syrup and richness of the salmon. The pineapple salsa is my addition. If you don’t want to bother, the salmon is delicious on its own but the fresh fruit really adds another dimension and completes the dish.
Begin by making the pineapple salsa. It’s simply a mix of chopped fresh pineapple, cilantro, fresh lime juice and maple syrup. Set it aside to let the flavors marry while you prepare the salmon.
For the salmon, begin with the spice rub. You’ll need ancho chili powder, cumin, paprika, kosher salt and sugar. Note that ancho chili pepper powder is not the same as regular chili powder. Chili powder is a blend of spices that season chili and similar dishes, while ancho chili powder is a pure chili powder made from ground ancho peppers with deep rich flavor and mild to medium heat. Many large grocery stores carry it, and you can always find it at Whole Foods.
Arrange the salmon fillets on a foil-lined baking sheet for easy clean up, then sprinkle the spice rub over top.
Set your oven rack about 6 inches from the broiler, and then broil the salmon for about five minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and brush the salmon fillets with maple syrup, and then broil for one minute more.
As you can see, the top crust will look very dark and almost burnt but don’t worry, it’s not — the spices simply turn dark when moistened. To serve, transfer the salmon fillets to plates and top with the pineapple salsa.
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- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ancho chili pepper powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 6-oz salmon fillets
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 cups diced fresh pineapple
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from one lime
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- Set an oven rack about 6 inches from the top of the oven and preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- Make the pineapple salsa by combining all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Mix the paprika, ancho chili powder, cumin, sugar and kosher salt together in a small bowl.
- Place the salmon fillets on the prepared baking sheet and sprinkle evenly with the spice mixture. Broil for 5-6 minutes, or until almost done. Remove the pan from the oven and brush the fillets evenly with the maple syrup. Broil for one minute more.
- Transfer the salmon fillets to plates and top with pineapple salsa.