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Pepper-Crusted Maple-Glazed Salmon

Off the Eaten Path by Bob Blumer

Serves 4

IF YOU MAKE only one recipe from this book, let this be the one. The deceptively easy yet indescribably delicious maple-soy marinade creates a candied salmon fillet that melts in your mouth, while the black pepper crust provides the perfect savory foil. Even people who don’t like fish become devoted converts after one bite. The closely guarded recipe was divulged to me — after several hours on the torture rack — by Andrew Zimbel, owner of The Amazing Food Service in Toronto. Such a big payoff for so little effort. Now that’s amazing.


3/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup soy sauce

4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, skin removed

1/4 cup coarsely ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon peanut (or other vegetable) oil, or a spritz of oil spray


In a small deep bowl, or a plastic bag, mix maple syrup and soy sauce. Arrange fillets so that marinade completely covers fish. Marinate in the refrigerator for as long as possible (a minimum of 4 hours, but ideally 24 hours to do it justice). Turn salmon every few hours

Preheat oven to 500°F.

Rub oil on a 10 x 10-inch sheet of aluminum foil.

Place pepper on a small plate. Remove salmon from marinade and pat topside only into cracked pepper to coat. Place fillets, pepper side up, on foil.

Bake on the top rack of the oven for 7 minutes. (Syrup may cause fish to smoke when cooking - don’t be alarmed.) Salmon can also be grilled directly over hot coals for about 3 minutes per side. Don’t even think about using a microwave. Avoid overcooking the fillets. Salmon is best when the color has turned to a pale pink, but the fish is still moist throughout. Serve immediately on warmed plates.

Le secret: The longer the salmon marinates (up to 48 hours) the better it is.

Note When multiplying the recipe for larger groups, it is not necessary to increase the marinade proportionately. Just mix enough marinade (in the same 3 parts maple syrup to 1 part soy sauce proportions) to cover all the fillets. tips for advance prep Although the fish can be placed in its marinade up to 48 hours in advance, it should only be peppered and cooked just before serving.


Fish and chips


6 servings olive oil cooking spray,enough to coat baking sheets,potatoes and fish
2 medium uncooked potatoes, peeled and cut into 8 wedges each
1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste
20 oz uncooked cod, four 5 oz fillets
1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper, or to taste
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup fat-free milk
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
4 tbsp red wine vinegar


Preheat oven to 400ºF. Coat 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray.Place potato wedges on one baking sheet and lightly coat with cooking spray; season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown and tender, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, season both sides of cod with salt and black pepper. Place flour in a shallow dish; add fish fillets and turn to coat. In a separate shallow dish, whisk together milk and mustard; add flour-coated fillets and turn to coat. Place breadcrumbs in a shallow dish; add fillets and turn to coat. Transfer fish to second prepared baking sheet and lightly coat with cooking spray. Bake fish until fork-tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Serve fish and potato wedges with vinegar on the side. Yields 1 fillet, 4 potato wedges and 1 tablespoon of vinegar per serving.

Chef Tips
We renovated Fish and Chips by:

Coating the fish with fat-free milk and Dijon mustard instead of eggs. Spraying the fish and potatoes with cooking spray and baking instead of deep-frying.

Garlic Shrimp


1/4-cup olive oil

4 large cloves garlic, finely minced

1-teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons dry sherry

1-teaspoon paprika

Chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley for garnish 


In a sauté pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for 1 minute. Raise the heat to high and add the shrimp, lemon juice, sherry and paprika. Stir well, then sauté, stirring briskly, until the shrimp turn pink and curl slightly, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle with parsley. Serve hot.


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