Spicy-Sweet Salmon

Dinner | November 11, 2015 | By

With all due respect to Three Dog Night (here I go dating myself again), One is NOT the Loneliest Number. Today I’m bringing you Spicy-Sweet Salmon, a single-serve meal that easily converts to date-night, girls-night, I’m-a-deer-hunter’s-widow-night or oh hey, work friends check out my leftovers turned lunch but pulleeease keep your hands off. 

I just got back from three fun-filled, food-filled days at the BlogHerFood15 conference in Chicago. Not only did BlogHerFood roll out the red carpet for us, but the City of Chicago did her part in the weather department too. 

salmon 14

The Hyatt-Regency Chicago was no slacker either, taking great care of us — this is the view from the 31st floor. We didn’t venture out of the hotel much, but did take a trip to  Eataly  (as in Eat Italy)  ~ we are, after all food bloggers ~ where we shopped and I dined on some of the best Bolognese I have ever tasted in my life. Food blogging is tough work! I asked for the recipe (duh!) and was given a list of ingredients (no measurements or instructions) ~ a test of my cooking skills but I’m up to the challenge and will be experimenting soon ~ any takers?  I highly recommend a visit to Eataly next time you’re in Chicago, but give yourself at least a couple of hours to shop and eat.

salmon 12

BlogHerFood15 offered a wide variety of sessions and speakers, including Food Photography, Recipe Development and Capturing Your Own Voice, among many others. I am so glad for the opportunity to attend the conference, learn and grow.

It was a great chance for bloggers to meet and speak with sponsors face to face, sample all they offered and take home some pretty fantastic swag. I’m so very thankful to have met and can now call new friends, fellow bloggers with whom I share blogging experiences ~ the good and bad of this solitary industry where much of our time is spent in front of our computers ~ and a mutual desire to take photos of everything we cook and eat! This fun, enthusiastic sisterhood of bloggers I’m proud to be a part of were supportive, generous and happy to share their stories about why they started blogging ~ many that tugged at my heart. They abundantly shared blogging tips and sincere offers to help in whatever way possible. The experience was truly inspiring.


Monday arrived, along with a case of reality. Having over-indulged the last several days in Chicago and faced with a long to-do list upon my return, I needed a high protein, delicious meal and this Spicy-Sweet Salmon fit the bill. I paired it with broccoli and mushrooms because (a) they pair well together and (b) they happened to be in my refrigerator already. Brussel sprouts are another yummy veggie option. If you’re scrunching your nose right now (amazing how I can see these things!), I’m here to tell you that brussel sprouts are out-of-this-world delicious when roasted to a goldeny-brown, caramelized outside. Mmmmmm. 

If I haven’t mentioned this before, oven-safe pans are a cook’s best friend. They transfer from stove-top to oven which in my book means less clean-up and who doesn’t want that? Now I’m not advising you spend several hundred dollars on a set of these pans. T.J. Maxx or Marshalls always stock them and you’ll see if you buy just one (fantastic value under $20) it’ll be your go-to for many, many dishes. 


Okay, get your oven preheating to 400°, then in a  medium-size oven-safe skillet, drizzle some olive oil and warm over medium heat. Drop in your veggies and season with salt and pepper.

salmon 1

Sauté 2-3 minutes over medium heat, giving a little toss occasionally.

Season the salmon with salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, chili powder and a pinch of ground cayenne. I don’t give precise measurements because for a single piece of salmon it’s a sprinkling of each – similar to just salting your food. Give the seasoned area of the salmon a little press with your fingers, smooshing all the spices into the fish. It’ll look like this:

salmon 2

Next, slide the veggies to the outside edges of the pan and add another little drizzle of olive oil. Crank up the heat to medium-high and lay the salmon face down in the pan to sear. This takes about 3-4 minutes. If the skin was removed from your salmon, sear it on both sides. If not, just the ‘face’ side.

salmon 3

. . .and now it looks like this. See how it’s still pink in the middle? That’s okay. we’re not done yet.

salmon 5

Pour the chicken stock into the pan over the veggies. Bake 8-10 minutes or until the salmon is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.

Plate the salmon and veggies, leaving any leftover liquid in the pan. Now for the sweet part ♥. Add 1/4 cup of your favorite preserves or jam from your refrigerator and blend it with the remaining liquid, along with some white wine (whatever you’re drinking right now). Simmer over low heat 2-3 minutes. Drizzle that sweet goodness all over the top of your spicy salmon for that spicy-sweet combination. Unfortunately, photos don’t lie — I definitely got carried away with the sweet part as you’ll see below.

salmon 7This was the jam I used today. I’ve used fig preserves or a 3-berry blend before ~ delicious. For the record, no frogs were harmed in the making of this jam. It’s actually fig, raspberry, orange and ginger ~ but it definitely gets your attention, right?




Dinner is served!

Spicy Sweet Salmon
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  1. Olive Oil for drizzling
  2. Vegetables for the side dish (broccoli and mushrooms used ~ 1/2 cup each)
  3. Salmon (one approximately 8 ounce piece per person)
  4. Salt
  5. Pepper
  6. Garlic powder
  7. Cumin
  8. Paprika
  9. Chili powder
  10. Ground cayenne
  11. 1/4 cup of chicken stock
  12. 1/4 cup of preserves OR jam (whatever is your favorite/on hand)
  13. 1/4 cup of white wine
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. In a medium-size oven-safe skillet, drizzle a small amount of olive oil and warm over medium heat.
  3. Add the vegetables to the skillet and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Sauté the vegetables 2-3 minutes, tossing occasionally.
  5. Season the salmon with salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, chili powder and ground cayenne. Using your fingers, press the spices into the flesh of the fish.
  6. Using a spatula, move the vegetables to the parameter of the skillet.
  7. Add another small drizzle of olive oil. Increase heat to medium-high and gently lay the salmon face down in the skillet to sear. This will take about 3 minutes.
  8. If the skin has been removed from your salmon, sear on both sides.
  9. Return salmon seared side up.
  10. Pour 1/4 cup of chicken stock into the skillet over the vegetables.
  11. Bake 8-10 minutes or until salmon is cooked through and flakes easily.
  12. Plate the salmon and veggies, reserving the liquid in the skillet.
  13. Add the jam/preserves and wine to the skillet.
  14. Simmer over low heat 2-3 minutes, blending. Drizzle over the top of the salmon.
  1. Oven-safe skillet needed.


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