Salmon is easily my favourite fish to cook with. It's very versatile and pairs well with so many flavours. It also lends itself very well to different ethnic genres of cooking. Soy sauce, mirin, and brown sugar make for a delicious Asian marinade. Or you could use yogurt and spices to create an Indian Tandoori-style salmon. Or just brush on a maple glaze and grill the salmon on cedar planks for a very Canadian meal. A few days ago, I made salmon with a very classic flavour combination - honey and mustard.
Equal parts honey and dijon mustard are combined with a bit of fresh lemon, some garlic and dill, and a healthy dose of spicy cayenne pepper. Some of the sauce is reserved (for serving later) while the rest is poured over the salmon, which is baked until it's light pink and flaky. The resulting flavour is sweet, tangy, and spicy enough to keep things interesting.
Baked Salmon with Sweet and Spicy Honey-Dijon Sauce
Adapted from a recipe by Robin Miller
4 salmon fillets (typically 6-8 oz.)
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/2 cup honey
2 tbsp. water
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1 minced clove garlic (or 1 tsp. garlic powder)
2 tbsp. chopped fresh dill (or 1 tbsp. dried dill)
Preheat the oven to 400F. Place aluminum foil in a baking pan or shallow baking dish. Spray with cooking spray or grease very lightly with oil. Place salmon in prepared pan or dish.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, honey, water, lemon juice, cayenne, and garlic. Remove 1/2 cup of the sauce and set aside. Pour the remaining sauce over the salmon fillets in the pan. Roast the salmon until fork-tender, about 15 minutes (check after 10 if your salmon is thin).
Stir the dill into the reserved mustard sauce. Taste and season as necessary, adding more cayenne pepper if necessary. Serve the salmon hot with the reserved mustard sauce on top.