Maple-Bourbon Salmon with Roasted Asparagus

When I began my adventure in blogging, I first focused solely on sweet treats and dessert recipes. Slowly over time, I began to venture over into the savory side. While I still prefer baking, I have gained confidence in cooking and have started to experiment and expand my repertoire. There are so many ingredients and dishes I still want to work with though! 

I was thinking about this at the start of the year and decided to make a bucket list of 100 recipes I'd love to try out. The list includes a mixture of sweet and savory dishes. I'll make sure and mention when a new recipe I'm sharing is off the list, but check back to see which I've completed. You may notice recipes that are already marked off, I decided to include dishes from last year. In 2014 there were a few dishes I had been excited to try for a long time, and was particularly proud of (such as my Italian cream cake or homemade noodles).

Today I'm marking the first recipe off the list for 2015 - bourbon glazed salmon. One thing I've loved about the blog, and experimenting in the kitchen, is that it has helped evolve my palette. There are foods I was sure I used to dislike (or at least never wanted to try) that I've begun to rediscover. One of those foods is salmon. I used to dislike (or assumed I disliked) any and all seafood. Recently, though, I tried salmon for the first time in years and realized I had been missing out! 

I'm always up for discovering new recipes to add to the rotation, especially ones that are healthy, so I decided to try a salmon dish. I looked around online for a glaze to compliment the fish and found one from Better Homes and Garden that sounded perfect - a maple bourbon glaze. If your keeping track, this isn't the first dish I've made that has a bourbon glaze, I previously tried an ancho bourbon pork chop and a maple bourbon pork chop. I also used bourbon in the Whisky BBQ Sliders (which would be great for any upcoming game day parties). This glaze is slightly different than the others, it contains bourbon, maple syrup, orange juice, and pecans. Yum! The combination is sweet with a bit of a citrus kick. The pecans add flavor and  a bit of texture contrast.
I paired the salmon with roasted asparagus and rice. Asparagus is another dish that I only recently discovered I liked. This was my first attempt at making the veggie, but the recipe is easy to follow. Here's how I made it:

Roasted Asparagus ingredients:
  • Asparagus
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
Roasted Asparagus instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Cut off the tough ends of the asparagus
  • Toss the asparagus in olive oil
  • Coat with kosher salt and a liberal amount of pepper
  • Bake for 25 mins

Here's how I made the salmon and accompanying glaze:

Maple-Bourbon Salmon ingredients:
  • Salmon filets
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Maple-bourbon glaze:
    • 1/3 cup maple syrup
    • 1/3 cup orange juice
    • 3 tbs bourbon
    • 1/8 cup chopped pecans
Maple-Bourbon Salmon instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil and bake salmon for around 15 mins
  • While salmon is cooking, mix together orange juice, bourbon, and maple syrup
  • Heat the mixture on medium heat for 5 mins
  • Add pecans and heat the glaze mixture on high for 5 mins, or until the sauce thickens
  • Remove the sauce, it will continue to thicken
  • Spoon mixture and pecans over the salmon and enjoy!

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