Maine Roots

A blog about all things Maine


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Weekly Recipe: Baked Salmon Fillets with Cashew Coating

This recipe was passed on to me by my mom, so I don’t have a handy cookbook reference for you, but I can vouch with great confidence for how wonderful it is.  If you like salmon, you will love this meal.  It’s actually quite easy and still feels much fancier than marinated, baked salmon (which is what I usually do).  The crunchy cashew coating made me feel like I was eating a gussied-up salmon dish from a restaurant, rather than from my own kitchen.

In this post, you’re also going to get a bonus recipe, because the side dish I made to accompany the salmon is called ‘Ben’s Peppery Potato Wedges’ and is from The Maine Summers Cookbook.  These potato wedges might be my new favorite side.  I’m mad (in a good way) about them.  I thought these dishes went well together; we actually made this same meal when my mom was here visiting, and I repeated it last night.

A sneak peek at the tasty ingredients...

A sneak peek at the tasty ingredients…

To make the salmon, you’ll need:

  • 3 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey (preferably from the Honey Exchange!)
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs, unseasoned
  • 1/4 cup chopped cashews
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried Thyme (fresh would work also)
  • 3-4 salmon fillets
  • Salt and pepper to taste (both my mom and I have forgotten this ingredient in the past, and didn’t miss it a bit!  The other flavors make the dish fabulous)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together butter, honey, and mustard. In another bowl, combine bread crumbs, thyme, and cashews.

My favorite kitchen gadget is this chopper - a gift from my dad!

My favorite kitchen gadget is this chopper – a gift from my dad!

Place the salmon in a 9 x 13 glass baking dish that you have lightly coated with cooking spray or oil. Brush the salmon with the butter mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle the crumb mixture evenly over the fillets and pat down.

Ready to bake!

Ready to bake!

Bake until fish flakes or about 15 to 18 minutes (I went with 18).

You could choose to garnish this dish with lemon slices, but I didn’t (and didn’t miss it).  Also, I took my mom’s advice and brushed on some of the butter mixture, retaining part of it to mix with the bread crumbs and cashews to form a crumble, and then smoothed that over the salmon and patted it down.

If you know my mother, you know she tends to be very modest about her own cooking, and is by far her own harshest critic.  So when she sent the following quote at the end of her email, I knew this dish was a winner: “This recipe was delicious…really and truly good!”
And it was.
For Ben’s Peppery Potato Wedges, which can be found on page 153, you’ll need:
  • 4 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed (I confess, I went with Yukon Gold this time)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees (last night, I did these at 400 to work with the salmon – I simply added 5-10 minutes to the cooking time, and they were still great).  Cut each potato lengthwise into 8 wedges.  Toss the wedges in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper until well coated.
Prepped for baking...

Prepped for baking…

Generously oil a shallow baking pan and place the potato wedges, one cut side down, in the pan.  Tightly cover the pan with aluminum foil and roast for 10 minutes.  Remove the foil and turn the wedges over, placing the other cut side down.  Roast for 10 minutes, uncovered.  Turn the wedges again and roast for 10 minutes more, or until nicely browned.
I’m not exaggerating when I say these potato wedges are excellent.  I love potatoes (as you know), and I really enjoy a little spice – so the inclusion of cayenne pepper makes this a perfect dish for me.  You could probably swap in garlic powder for garlic potato wedges, or go without any particular spice if you’d like a more traditional style.
Oh yum!

Oh yum!

I hope you try one or both of these recipes – and send your thoughts and feedback!
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Weekly Recipe: North Shore Potatoes

As promised, today’s weekly recipe comes from another Maine cookbook!  In this case, I selected a recipe from The Maine Collection, a cookbook by the Portland Museum of Art, and it did not disappoint.

This North Shore Potatoes recipe seemed an appropriate follow up to my HoME Grown post on the Maine Potato (which for some reason posted with a date of December 3rd, my apologies!), and while it’s not a great example of a healthy potato recipe, it is delicious.  It can be found on page 81 and it serves 6 people.  You’ll need:

  • 6 medium potatoes, boiled
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups Cheddar cheese, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Boil potatoes and store in the fridge until cool enough to peel.

Peelin' potatoes!

Peelin’ potatoes!

Melt butter and cheese together (I recommend buying shredded Cheddar to save time).  Add sour cream, salt, pepper, and onion, and stir until blended.  Peel and grate the potatoes, and add to other ingredients.  Mix together and put in a casserole dish.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.  I also added some additional Cheddar cheese and breadcrumbs for a tasty topping.

This recipe was outstanding – it went well with fish the first night and perfectly with steak the next night.

Fresh out of the oven!

Fresh out of the oven!

The Maine Collection was initially printed in 1993 and was sponsored by the Portland Museum of Art Guild.  Proceeds from its sales went toward the restoration of the McLellan-Sweat House, now a historic house museum, which was originally constructed in 1801 by shipping magnate Major Hugh McLellan.  The Mansion is an exceptional example of Federal style architecture, and while the restoration took longer than anticipated, the Portland Museum of Art re-opened this space to the public in October 2002.

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If interested, Amazon does list this cookbook for sale!