This is what happens when salmon cops a Creole and Cajun attitude. It doesn’t get much easier than Sweet Daddy D’s Baked Salmon with Cane Syrup Sauce. This sweet and tangy sauce starts in the cane fields of South Louisiana and doesn’t give up until it converts this Northern fish into a real Cajun. You’ll be thrilled at how easy this is to do.
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South Louisiana Salmon?
South Louisiana is known for its bounty of fresh and saltwater seafood, including some of the most delicious fish anyone can catch. However, salmon isn’t one of the fish native to the region. That doesn’t mean salmon isn’t good and above being treated to a little Cajun and Creole voodoo. Primarily known as a North Atlantic and Pacific fish, salmon is “anadromous” which means it lives in both saltwater and freshwater during its life. You’d think that would make South Louisiana a perfect habitat, but I guess the water is a little too warm for this out-of-towner. Salmon is also farmed quite widely throughout the world and is readily available in most markets. The flavors of Cane Syrup Sauce sets this rich, meaty, flakey fish off on a fais-do-do. Check out the Hints and Tips section below for more about salmon and some alternates if you can’t get your hands on any.
Here is what you need
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For a reliable instant-read thermometer, check out the Thermopen from ThermoWorks.
Here is What You Do
First...you have a beer. So simple, but you still need to be prepared. Sip on a beer while you read the recipe all the way through. When you know what you have to do, start with preparing the ingredients.
Prepare the salmon
Make sure the salmon is cut in about 1 ½ inch to 2-inch slices crossways, leaving the skin on one side. Rinse the fillets in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Feel for bones by lightly rubbing your hand over the meat of the fish. If you find any, simply pull them out with a pair of kitchen tweezers. Prepare your baking sheet by spraying a little nonstick spray on it, then lining it with parchment paper. Place the salmon skin-side down on the parchment paper and sprinkle kosher salt and ground black pepper over the top. Set the salmon aside for about 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make the Cane Syrup Sauce
While the fish is resting, prepare one recipe of Sweet Daddy D’s Cane Syrup Sauce. When you are done with that it should be about time to place the fish in the oven. How’s your beer?
Bake the Salmon
Pour about ½ of the Cane Syrup Sauce over the fillets. Use a silicone brush to distribute sauce all over the top and both sides.
Place the baking sheet into the preheated oven and bake for about 10 minutes. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and use the silicone brush to baste the fillets with some of the sauce on the baking sheet. It should be nice and thick and easy to spread over the fillets.
Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake another 10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches at least 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the fish rest for about 5 minutes.
When ready to serve, plate one fillet per serving and spoon more Cane Syrup Sauce on top.
Hints and Tips
What can I use besides salmon?
You want a nice meaty and flakey fish for this recipe, so most Gulf fish will work very well. Try some redfish, red snapper, drum or speckled trout. In the east, a nice rockfish would be good. You can prepare any of these just like the recipe, although the cooking time may differ depending upon the thickness of the fish. If the fish is pretty thin, you could also adapt this recipe to pan-fry the fish in some butter, then finish it in the oven for a few minutes to set the sauce.
How long can I keep leftovers?
Leftover salmon with Cane Syrup Sauce will be good in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days if stored in an airtight container. The butter in the sauce will harden, so set the container out a couple of hours before you are ready to eat. You can reheat it in the microwave but be careful that you don’t inadvertently overcook the fish. Another reheating option is to place the fish and sauce in an ovenproof baking dish, cover with aluminum foil and heat at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until warmed through, which should take about 20 minutes.
Is salmon good for you?
It’s like a superfood and really should be a big part of our diets. It’s a great source of protein, potassium and several B-vitamins that we need for energy production and controlling inflammation. Salmon contains antioxidants that promote heart and brain health. It's also a great aid if you are trying to lose weight. Check out this article for more details on the nutritional benefits of salmon in your diet.
Can I cook this on the grill?
Salmon with Cane Syrup Sauce is great on the grill. Follow the recipe almost exactly but prepare the grill for medium-high indirect heat. Instead of placing the salmon in a baking pan, layer several lemon slices on the grill on which to set the salmon. Brush the Cane Syrup Sauce on before and a couple of times during the grilling. We’re talking an outstanding flavor when it’s grilled this way.
What temperature should salmon be cooked to?
The USDA recommends an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit for salmon when measured with an instant-read thermometer. Most people will think that is too high and the fish will be a little dry. For medium to medium-well, cook the fish to an internal temperature of 125 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. When you take the fish out of the oven or off the grill, the internal temperature will increase by about 5 degrees while it rests. I use this Thermopen from Thermoworks to test the IT of anything I am cooking (I am a ThermoWorks affiliate and will receive a modest commission should you buy anything through my links).
Try this other great recipe with Cane Syrup Sauce:
Lovin' some salmon...try these:
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Yeah You Right!
Baked Salmon with Cane Syrup Sauce
Here's What You Need
- 1 ½ pounds salmon fillets
- 1 tablespoon Kosher Salt
- 1 tablespoon Ground Black Pepper
- 1 ¼ cups Cane Syrup Sauce
Here's What You Do
- Rinse salmon fillets under cold water and pat dry.
- Using your hands lightly rum the salmon to check for bones. Use a pair of tweezers to remove any bones.
- Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the salmon fillets skin side down on the parchment paper.
- Lightly sprinkle kosher salt and ground black pepper over the salmon and set aside for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Pour about ⅓ to ½ of the Cane Syrup Sauce over the salmon fillets; brush sauce on all sides.
Bake the salmon
- Place the baking sheet with the salmon in the 425-degree Fahrenheit preheated oven.
- Check the salmon after 10 minutes and brush some of the sauce from the parchment paper onto the fish.
- Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake an additional 10 minutes until the internal temperature of the salmon reaches 125-130 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Remove from the oven and allow it to rest for about 5 minutes