I was so psyched to make maple-dijon salmon fillets for dinner this week. We had some frozen salmon in the freezer, and maple + dijon always equals so, so good. But then, when I started to make dinner and put together the sauce, I realized that our maple syrup had gone bad! Cue, saddest face.
Bill was on fillet duty since he is the fish boss in our house, so we scrambled together to improvise something to replace the icky syrup. Enter: MOLASSES!
I will admit, I was skeptical at first – won’t that be too sweet? It would overpower the fish? Right? WRONG!
Turns out, molasses is a truly delicious salmon glaze. The heartier taste of the fish stood up to the smoky sweetness of the molasses, and it was helped along by the herbaceousness of all the other delicious ingredients. We definitely needed to brighten up and serve as a base for this savory and sweet salmon.
The next addition to our party: green beans! Shallots, cranberries, and red wine vinegar made a delicious, complex base of flavor, with some saltiness added by a last-minute addition of parmesan cheese.
All together, this was a truly delicious dinner and it photographed up so pretty too 😉 I asked Bill what we should call it, since molasses salmon doesn’t sound tasty. He decided that, based on the French flavors in the recipe and the Caribbean influence of the molasses, plus the salmon (of the sea) – a French island colony would lend the perfect name. Enjoy!
Saint Martinique Salmon
- 4 skin-on salmon fillets, 4 ounces each, boned
- 4 Tbsp molasses
- 1½ tsp freeze-dried shallots
- 4 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 Tbsp dried parsley
- Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray.
- Place the salmon fillets on the prepared baking sheet.
- In a small bowl, combine all the non-salmon ingredients until you have a thick paste. Add more spices and/or molasses to taste.
- Generously baste the salmon fillets with the molasses mixture. Use up all that molasses-y goodness!
- Place the baking sheet under the broiler and cook until the salmon is just cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- Remove skin, and plate!
Based on a recipe from the Cookin’ Canuck
Shallot-Cranberry Green Beans
- 12 ounces fresh green beans
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tsp freeze-dried shallots
- ½ tsp granulated roasted garlic
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
- Steam your green beans – personally, I like the steam-in-the-bag ones I grab from HEB.
- Heat a medium skillet over medium heat, then add olive oil, salt, and green beans.
- Saute green beans for 1 minute, then add the shallots and roasted garlic.
- Saute green beans for 1 minute more, then drizzle with the red wine vinegar and add the dried cranberries.
- Continue stirring the green beans for 2-3 minutes more, or until they reach your desired crisp-ness.
- Top with the parmesan cheese, stir until cheese begins to melt, then serve!
Based on a recipe from Food Loves Writing
There are certain flavors and ingredients I gravitate towards in the kitchen and recipes. I have squeeze bottles of olive oil and balsamic vinegar right next to the stove, ready for a quick addition to dinner. There’s always a pot of herbes de Provence ready to go in the cabinet, along with thyme and roasted garlic slices. Our refrigerator always holds Dijon mustard, with fresh ginger lurking in the freezer and a pot full of garlic and shallots lying in wait within their comfortable darkness. Honey patiently sits next to the Keurig machine and there are always backup supplies of flour and 3 types of sugar in the pantry for baking emergencies.
When I see any combo of these favored ingredients pop up while perusing the internet, I’m immediately drawn to hungrily peruse the recipe, hoping it’s right for our family and ready for some Manckwhite tweaking. When I found this recipe for Honey-Molasses Chicken, it was immediately added to the meal plan for the week. Bill asked every day if this was the day for delicious chicken and it finally was a few days back! I was so looking forward to the simple, but powerful combination of ingredients that were to come.
I was fully prepared for a thick, tangy sauce coating simply spiced chicken tenders, but I was blown away by the depth of flavor that came out of that pan. It’s reminiscent of a vinaigrette, but with a thick, smooth texture like the sauce for Sesame Chicken. It’s a very summery dish with the bright, spiced sauce.
You get the subtle and separate sweetnesses of honey, brown sugar and molasses, but it’s cut through with the tang of balsamic vinegar and spices of the Dijon mustard with the follow-through of the garlic powder. This sauce begs to be shared with more than just chicken, so I also sauced some apple pieces to top a simple spinach and goat cheese salad. I loved the combination of zesty sauce and tender chicken with the crunch of the apple, freshness of the spinach and creamy goat cheese. It’s a perfectly balanced plate altogether.
We start with my basic, plain ol’ chicken tenders, liberally spiced with salt and pepper. They’re browned to hold in all their tender juiciness, then cooked through with the delicious sauce. We cover to cook, so the steam opens up the chicken for more flavor as the sauce thickens and develops all around it. A final minute to condense the sauce’s flavors make sure the chicken has a nice, healthy coating so the flavor is carried through in every bite.
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons water
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon molasses
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 pound chicken tenders
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 apple, cut into small pieces
- Combine brown sugar, water, honey, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, molasses and garlic powder in a small bowl; whisk together and set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Add chicken to pan, cook for 3 minutes, then flip and repeat.
- When the chicken has browned on each side, but is not cooked through, add the honey mixture to pan, turning chicken to coat. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook 10 minutes or until chicken is done, turning chicken every 5 minutes.
- Uncover, turn heat to medium-high and cook for an additional minute, so the sauce thickens and the chicken is well coated. Remove from heat; serve immediately, reserving 2 Tablespoons of sauce.
- Toss the apple pieces with reserved sauce and serve on the side.
Based on a recipe from Recipe Girl