Enter blackened salmon with orange marmalade & toasted almond butter.
I made my own Cajun seasoning simply mixing a few spices – pepper, crushed dried red chilies, paprika & garlic powder together. Then added some herbs – dried oregano & fresh thyme. I think thyme is an underutilized herb that can be added to almost anything: Roasted veggies, frittatas, stuffing, soups, stews, cocktails, quick breads & such.
The compound butter is a masterful addition & an easy way of jooshing up a meal. By softening butter, adding whatever flavors you fancy – in this case marmalade & toasted almonds, then chilling it – you end up with a flavored butter log that you can cut into slices & top cooked meats, seafoods or veggies with. This allows you to not only play with flavor combos but elevate the dish, adding additional complementing flavors. Not to mention it’s so easy even the most novice of cooks can make it, it’s inexpensive & completely make ahead.
I served the salmon with roasted beets because the two go together so magnificently. If you’ve never paired salmon & beets together I suggest you try it. Both are bold on flavor & the earthy sweetness of the beets pairs magically with the strong, oily salmon flavor. Add steamed green beans or broccolini & you’ve got yourself a pret-tee sensational meal.
- 4 salmon fillets (1 1/2 to 2 lbs/750g – 1kg total)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon crushed red chilies
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ORANGE ALMOND BUTTER
- 4 oz (125g) butter, softened
- 1/3 cup marmalade
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- salt & freshly ground pepper
- To make the butter: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Scrape butter mixture onto parchment paper. Using the paper as a guide, roll butter mixture to make a 5-inch (12cm) log; secure firmly. Refrigerate 2 hours or until firm.
- Check salmon for any pin bones or scales. Remove any bones with tweezers. Place salmon fillets on a plate.
- Combine thyme, garlic powder, paprika, oregano, chilies, salt & pepper. Press spice mixture over salmon.
- Heat oil in a large, non-stick pan – I used cast iron, over medium heat. Cook salmon, skin side up, for about 4 minutes or until salmon is a lovely dark brown color. Turn and cook a further 2 to 3 minutes, depending on thickness of salmon or until salmon is just cooked & flakes easily with a fork.
- Cut butter mixture into slices, place over top of hot salmon & allow to melt. Serves 4.