Sunday, 17 February 2013

Chili-Glazed Salmon

February 2013

SmartCooks.  'Chili-Glazed Salmon' was the dinner antidote to the week and weekend from hell, thanks to a nasty stomach bug that led to the 'hell' designation.  

It was bad enough for me to miss the opportunity to roast n' toast Kim Novak on February 13 and Valentine's on the 14th.  A belated 'here's lookin' at 'em'.  

I also missed the final weekend of Winterlude.  I should feel bad about it except I've never been very keen on skating in -30ish wind chill weather with wind gusts of 45 km and above.  Brrrr.  

Clearly, I'm in a minority in the 'brave-the-weather-no-matter-what' category.  As the photo attests, there were throngs of people up to the challenge.  They must be from hardier stock than I am -- and I've lived here for decades now.  But then again, I also would never have trained or signed up for the 130-km ultra cycle-run "Actif Epica" marathon in Manitoba this weekend. Double brrr. 

The return to the land of an interesting, healthy, fast dinner somehow led to buying a couple of small salmon fillets and finding a Southern US recipe -- profiled by Oprah a few years back -- for 'Chili-Glazed Salmon with Braised Collards.  (You'll notice no recipe for the braised collards... all I can say is I tried 'em and I did not like 'em ... at all ... so no coupling of the two for me.)

A word about the 'Chili-glazed' part of the recipe

There are a range of choices for the chili part of this recipe.  Some recipes suggested a Thai/Asian sweet chili sauce (homemade or bought), while others simply say 'chili powder'.  I chose the latter, opting for the lower calories. 

I happened to have 'ancho chili powder' on hand.  The description on the package told me that it consists of ground dried poblano chili peppers from the Central Mexico region of Puebla.  The powder is known for adding a zing to food, but is on the very mild side as far as chili peppers go.  Definitely up my alley ...

I upped the lime juice/zest slightly from the original recipe and thought I achieved the right 'mild zing' palate balance I sought. I siphoned a little 'Jim Beam' bourbon from hubby's bourbon collection and made the sauce very quickly.  Then, it was 8 minutes under the broiler to produce a perfectly cooked salmon dinner.  You can add a small salad, or a green vegetable (kale, collards!, swiss chard, broccoli....), rice/quinoa, or whatever.  It's an easy, satisfying and fortifying return to normal and the start of yet another work week.  


Chili-Glazed Salmon

¼ cup honey 
1.5 T bourbon
2 T ancho chili powder
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp lime zest
2 tsp lime juice
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets


In a small bowl, combine honey, bourbon, ancho chili powder, ginger, salt, pepper, lime zest and lime juice.

Place oven rack about 6 inches from broiler. Preheat broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place salmon fillets, skin side down, on foil. Spoon mixture over salmon. Broil until glaze is bubbling and salmon is no longer opaque in the center, about 8 minutes.

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