Honey Dijon Salmon

My family has been vacationing in Wisconsin since I was about three years old.  One of my favorite things to do there is to go salmon fishing with my dad in the waters of Lake Michigan.  Salmon fishing involves getting up between 3 and 4 in the morning, being very patient, and for me, snacking constantly on crackers so I don’t err… chum the waters.  Regardless of my lack of sea legs,  I love it.   The quiet chug of the motor, the gentle roll of the boat, the way the taut fishing lines sing in the wind and of course the excitement/chaos when something finally is on the line.  It is an experience I highly recommend. (Minus the sick part.  Get the motion sickness patch if you can.)   If the fishing doesn’t excite you the taste of fresh caught salmon will.  It is so much better than any salmon I’ve ever bought at the store or been served at a restaurant.

Being that it is February, I am all out of lake caught salmon.  I wanted some fish in our weekly dinner menu and so I asked the fishmonger at Whole Foods what he thought would be a good stand-in for our usual fish fare.  He recommended the Icelandic Salmon and I asked him to cut enough for four people.  (If you aren’t sure how much salmon you need in pounds, asking for portions is an easy way to go.)  Usually we grill the salmon on cedar planks with dill  but the weather wasnt cooperating.  I found this recipe online and decided to give it a try, omitting the nuts and using the Earth’s Balance Soy Free Spread for the butter.  Looking back at the recipe now, I think I could replace the melted spread with olive oil without a problem.  The butter/butter replacer brings some fat to the party and makes the honey dijon easier to spread, but there is so much flavor going on that butter flavor or texture itself isn’t necessary.   The results of this recipe were fantastic.  They honey dijon  mellowed as it cooked and was not overly tangy as I worried it might be.  My husband, who is not always sure he likes fish, gobbled his up while eyeing the leftovers my daughter had on her plate.  It is definitely now our go-to salmon recipe.  I can’t wait to try it out this summer on some freshly caught salmon and wow the family.

Honey Dijon Salmon

Ingredients

Canola or other safe oil for oiling baking dish/cookie sheet

1/4 cup soy/dairy free spread, melted (or try olive oil)

3 tablespoons soy free dijon mustard

1 1/2 tablespoons honey

1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs (I use 365 brand at Whole Foods)

4 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

salt and pepper

4 (4 ounce) salmon fillets

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Prepare a baking dish or cookie sheet by oiling the bottom lightly. (For easy cleanup I like to line a pan with foil and oil the foil).   In a small bowl combine the melted spread or oil, dijon mustard and honey.  In another bowl mix together the breadcrumbs, parsley and a dash of salt and pepper.   Place salmon fillets, skin side down, in the baking dish/cookie sheet.  Brush each fillet with the honey dijon mixture and then sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the fillets.  Bake the salmon for about 15 minutes or until it reaches 140 degrees F and flakes easily with a fork.  To check this, use a fork and try to cut the fish lightly in the middle of the fillet.  If it still looks mushy, cook it longer.   If it separates into chunks, or flakes, it is done.  Serve immediately.

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