Saturday, June 9, 2012

Cajun Blackened Salmon on Sweet and Spicy Corn Salad

The Copper River Salmon Company contacted me a month or so ago, and asked if I would like to be part of their 2012 Fresh Catch Crew.

My responsibilities?
      1. Locate their prized Copper River Salmon in my area, and upload it's location to
          their locator app.
      2. Make recipes with their salmon and blog about it.

What do I get in return you say? I get 3 shipments of fresh Copper River Salmon expressed overnight from Alaska straight to my doorstep. FREE! Yippee!!

No Brainer! I agreed:)

I impatiently stalked the progress of my first shipment via Internet tracking. I was more than ready for it when it showed up. I was bursting with excitement! So much so, that I am pretty sure the Fed Ex Driver thought I had just won the lottery. I ran out and met him at the end of the driveway to receive the package sporting a huge smile.

I immediately brought the box inside and busted it open. Look at all the goodies!

Isn't it beautiful! You know that "fishy" smell? Not here! This was so fresh, all I could smell was a faint whiff of the salty sea. Perfect!

So what did I choose to make with the salmon? Cajun Blackened Salmon, served on a bed of Sweet and Spicy Corn Salad. Usually, I only share recipes one at a time, but these two recipes are meant to be together. Like spaghetti and meatballs, so is the Cajun Blackened Salmon to the Sweet and Spicy Corn Salad.

Everything good is happening in this meal...
Flaky, moist, perfectly spiced salmon fillets get a thin, crusty, outer layer and crisp skin. The Sweet and Spicy Corn Salad pairs PERFECTLY with every bite of this
straight-from-the-sea, melt in your mouth Copper River Sockeye Salmon.

It sounds simple, but I am telling you anyway, because there truly is a "right" way to eat this. Flake off a bit of salmon with your fork and scoop it up WITH the corn salad. Eat them together. You will thank me later.

Cajun Blackened Salmon 
Sweet and Spicy Corn Salad

Sweet and Spicy Corn Salad
Slightly Adapted from Simply Scratch
(This salad recipe makes enough for 4-6 fillets. Perfect for a family!)
-8 cooked cobs of corn, cooled
-3 cloves of garlic smashed and then minced - (1 TB)
-1 - 15oz can of black beans rinsed and drained
-2 tomatoes off the vine. Seeded and diced small. (1 1/2 cups)
-3/4 cup purple onion diced small
-1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
-6 TB minced up Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce (1/2 of 7oz can)
-3 TB lime juice
-3 TB fresh lemon juice
-1/4 c olive oil
-1 tsp sea salt
-2 tsp honey

-Use a large straight edged knife to slice the corn kernels off the husks. Discard husks and put corn in large bowl.
-Rinse and drain black beans. Smash and mince garlic and mix it in with the beans so that it is broken up a little.
-Throw the beans and the garlic in the bowl with the corn.
-Seed and then slice up the tomatoes. Put in the bowl with corn.
-Dice up the purple onion small and toss in the corn mixture.
-Chop up the cilantro fine and toss that in as well.
-Use two big spoons to toss mixture so everything is combined.
-Open 7oz can of Chipotle Peppers in Adobe sauce. Take half of content out of jar. It will be about 2-3 peppers, and the sauce that goes with it.
-Set last half of can aside. Freeze in baggie for later use.
-Mince up the peppers and sauce into tiny pieces. (should be about 6 TB).
-In a separate small bowl, put the lemon juice, lime juice, olive oil, sea salt, honey, and minced up peppers and sauce.
-Whisk with fork.
-When all is whisked together well, drizzle over corn mixture in bowl.
-Toss with two big spoons to coat ingredients evenly.
-Leave out for up to an hour while you are doing fish.
-This should be served at room temperature with warm fish.
-It can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge a day, but be sure to take it out to get to room temp before serving.

Blackened Cajun Sockeye Salmon
Salmon Donated by Copper River Salmon Company
Very slightly adapted from Spark Recipes
(Makes 2 fillets. If making for 4 people, double the recipe.)

- 1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
- 3/4 tsp Paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/4 tsp coriander seeds
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- 2 Sockeye Salmon Fillet Strips
      (I used fresh Copper River Sockeye Salmon - Skin on, middle about 4inches wide 
      and   2-2 1/2 inches high. Ends about 3 inches wide and 1 1/2-2 inches high. 
      I estimate about 6 oz each.)
-1 TB Butter

-Add first 6 ingredients to a mortar and pestle. (pic below)
-Mix and grind until coriander has broken up well (pic below)
-Rub both salmon fillets on all sides with the Blackened Salmon Cajun Seasoning.
 (pic below)
-Heat 9-10 inch skillet on stove top on high heat.
-When sizzling hot, add 1 TB butter.
-Butter will melt fast. As soon as it is melted, swirl it  around in the pan. You will notice
 the butter is browned a bit.
-Immediately lay the 2 salmon fillets in the hot buttered skillet skin side up. Turn heat
 down to med/hot. Set timer for 4 minutes.
-After four minutes, carefully use tongs to flip the fillets. Set timer for 4 to 5 minutes
 depending on how you like your fish done.
-When timer goes off, lay salmon on top of a large bed of room temperature Sweet and
 Spicy Corn Salad.
 -If you are a crispy skin eater like myself, lay the fish skin side up so it doesn't get soggy,
 OR flip in the pan quick, peel off skin, and enjoy the crispy skin AND the crusted
 Cajun topping on the opposite side. If you prefer not to eat the crispy skin, lay the fish
 skin side down on the corn salad. After a few minutes eating, you can either flip and
 easily peel off the softened skin, or you can choose to just eat around it. (pic below)
-Scrape bottom of pan, and drizzle any goodies over the top of the fish.
-Garnish with cilantro for pizazz and enjoy!

*This could easily be adapted for grilling as well if that is more your style:)

I was curious as to how this would taste leftover, so I kept back a tinch. I re-heated them together for one minute in the microwave. The tiny leftover piece of salmon and the small amount of corn salad both warmed bit proved to be just as delicious the second day!

And extra pics because it is so colorful and beautiful! :)


  1. Looks delicious. Copper River salmon is the best, for sure. But, as all fish, it must be fresh.

    1. Yes! You sure are right there! Do you have a favorite way of preparing Salmon? Let me know if you try this and how you like it:)

  2. I am in love with cajun cuisine , so I am pretty sure that I am going to love this salmon recipe. And corn bean salad sounds really yum. Delicious recipe Kaela!

    1. Vijitha! You must try it when you have a chance. Easy and delicious!

  3. What a fantastic summer meal! The cajun spices sound great with the salmon, and it's meant to be with the corn salad.