Introducing Blackened Salmon Fillets
Say goodbye to your go-to chicken dishes and give a warm welcome to a new dinner staple—salmon! We indulge in grilled salmon nearly every week because of its delectable taste and versatility in seasonings. This particular blackened salmon recipe is perfect for the summer, and you can easily prepare it on the grill or in the oven any time of year. The blend of spices creates a crispy, flavor-packed crust that takes your salmon to new heights!
Understanding Blackened Salmon
The term “blackened” might sound intimidating, as it conjures images of burnt food. However, in Cajun cooking, “blackened” refers to a technique of seasoning food. To achieve a deep-colored crust on the outside, blackened salmon is coated with a mixture of spices such as paprika, garlic powder, dried oregano, cayenne, and salt. The result is a crust bursting with intense and amazing flavors. Don’t worry about needing a professional-grade kitchen; the seasoning mixture consists of spices commonly found in your pantry.
The Health Benefits of Salmon
While we can’t claim that salmon will miraculously cure all your health problems or extend your life to 105, it’s certainly a wise addition to your regular diet. Salmon is a heart-healthy meal that can help protect against heart disease, reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, and potentially lower the risk of cancer. Including salmon in your meals at least twice a week can make a significant difference in meeting your nutritional needs.
Crafting Perfectly Blackened Salmon
Let’s dive into the process of making this flavorful delight. First, combine a variety of spices in a small bowl. Preheat your grill to medium indirect heat and set up a foil tray for cooking the salmon. Brush both sides of the fillets with melted butter and evenly sprinkle the spice blend on each side. Pour the remaining butter over the fillets. Place the salmon tray on the grill and cook until the fish just starts to flake and is nearly opaque throughout. Transfer the blackened salmon to a plate and serve it with a delightful mango salsa and a sprinkle of cilantro.
Note: I prefer grilling for easy cleanup, but you can also make this dish in the oven. If using the oven, preheat it to 425°F and cook the salmon fillets for 8-12 minutes, depending on their thickness. I recommend broiling them for the last 1-2 minutes to achieve that perfect finish.
Determining the Doneness of Salmon
Even if the salmon appears fully cooked, it’s always best to check its internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer. According to the USDA, fish should reach a safe internal temperature of 145°F. However, you can remove the salmon from heat at 130°F, as the temperature continues to rise while resting. The fish should change from translucent red to opaque pink as it cooks. The center should still be slightly translucent, yet flaky along the muscle fibers.
Tips for Cooking Blackened Salmon
If cooking fish for the first time seems intimidating, fear not! Here are some tried and tested tips to ensure a smooth cooking experience:
- Choose salmon fillets that are of the same size to ensure even cooking.
- Let the salmon come to room temperature before cooking for more uniform cooking.
- Create a foil pan for grilling to minimize cleanup. Fold the sides of heavy-duty foil to make a rim.
- Although leaving the skin on helps hold the flesh together during grilling, for this recipe, you’ll want to use skinless salmon fillets to season both sides.
Blackened salmon is incredibly versatile. While my favorite way to serve it is with mango salsa on top, you can experiment with various accompaniments. If you’re short on time, you can opt for store-bought mango salsa or try making a refreshing pineapple mango salsa yourself. Other serving options include:
- Placing the blackened salmon on a bed of lettuce with croutons, Parmesan cheese, and Caesar dressing.
- Serving it over pasta with a cream sauce and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
- Topping it with a luscious creamy cucumber dill sauce.
Elevate Your Summer Dinners
Why stop at blackened salmon? Spice up your summer dinners with these tantalizing recipes:
- Pecan Grilled Chicken Tender Salad: A fresh and healthy meal with fresh greens, juicy mandarin oranges, ripe strawberries, dried cranberries, candied pecans, grilled chicken, and bleu cheese.
- Lemon Basil Pasta Salad: A lighter alternative to traditional pasta salads, perfect for spring and summer.
- Pineapple Chicken Salad Pie: A creamy chicken salad pie with the sweetness of pineapple and the crunch of pecans.
- Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers: A low-carb spin on the classic sandwich, perfect for prepping ahead of time.
- Baja Shrimp Tacos with Pineapple Lime Slaw: Loaded with garlic-roasted shrimp, avocado, sweet peppers, tomatoes, and spicy chipotle mayo—a scrumptious and quick meal any night of the week.
- 15 Minute Sweet Potato Salmon Cakes: These flavorful cakes take just 15 minutes to make and pair perfectly with your favorite salad, veggies, and grains.
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This article has been updated in March 2021. The original recipe remains unchanged.