When we eat meat we really try hard to know where it comes from, the farmer, and the farming practices. With fish it is the same. We purchase wild alaskan salmon in bulk from Simple Gifts Syrup and Salmon. Dave Rogotzke has a fishing boat in Alaska and heads up there every summer to fish. He also sells maple syrup (which is delicious!). We’ve had his sockeye fillets and this year are trying his king salmon filets. Both are excellent. He will include our order with a delivery to the Minnetonka Lakewinds Food Co-op so we don’t have to drive to Duluth. If you don’t have access to Dave’s salmon, do try to source a wild caught fish. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has an awesome Seafood Watch Guide and app that you can use when at the grocery store or eating out to figure out what is the best fish to buy.
Next time I make this recipe, I’m going to try to let the glaze marinate with the fish for 4-8 hours, or overnight before baking. I think that would really add a lot to the taste. The other change I’d like to try is to bake the fish at 200F, for longer time, which I think would allow for a more moist fish and less crisp topping…
wild caught salmon filet or enough fish for 6 servings (about 2 pounds)
1/4 c maple syrup
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
3-6 cloves garlic, minced*
1 tsp. mustard of choice (we like dijon or stone ground)
salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 300F. Combine maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, mustard, and garlic in a small pan on the stove and heat until just warmed and you can easily combine the ingredients. Save 1/4 cup. Spread the rest over the salmon. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the top. Bake in the oven for 18-30 minutes, checking periodically with a fork to see when the fish is done. The middle of the thickest part of the salmon should be light pink, not raw looking. About 5 minutes before it is done, spread the reserved glaze on the salmon and continue baking. Typically when it is cooked it will flake apart easier for you to check the coloring. Try to not let it overcook, because I think moist salmon tastes better than dry.
*We grow our own garlic at York Farm. Come December we take the garlic we haven’t used up yet and peel it and put it in the food processor with oil (olive oil, sesame, or sunflower), process into a garlic paste, and the freeze it in small mounds of about 1-2 Tbsp. on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Then, when we’re cooking the rest of the winter we can take one of those garlic oil mounds and incorporate it into our cooking.