Tamarind Salmon Filet

Tonight, diner was salmon filet glazed with a tamarind marinade, accompanied with a delicious butternut squash purée.

Tamarind is one of these flavors that I simply love. I think it pairs nicely with seafood in general. Tonight I chose to marry it with salmon and what a great mix that was.

I just got myself these new cast iron skillets I have been wanting for the longest time, and I am all for trying them out. A salmon filet with crispy skin cooked to perfection sounded just about right.

I bought these cast iron and couldn’t help to wonder when getting them, if indeed they would turn out to be heirloom’s in my family as well.

You know, the same way you see so many commercials advertising that this cast iron brand is better than this one, and that it will last forever and ever.

How veridic is that?

Any of you out there have had a cast iron cookware that was passed down to you from your great grand-mother let’s say? If so, please share in on the secret to caring for them, and what the best and most original recipes you have succeeded in making with them are. I’d gladly like to hear from you all about it.

My heirloom is this recipe, is not my cast iron skillet, which is brand new, nor my recipe. The one tie to anything heirloom in this dish, is simply that I cannot help but to think of my cousins’ grand-mother “Mémé” whenever I use tamarind. She used to make the most delicious and exquisite tamarind balls as dessert. What an art of patience! To make these she would spend hours and hours when tamarind were in season, scrapping off with a spoon the flesh off of the seeds, in order to then prep the tamarind “pâte de fruits” balls, that she would coat with white sugar.

Whenever she would send these as a gift to my god-mother, her beloved daughter in law, my god-mother, sweet as she is, was sure to bring some over to our house and share the love. These precious delicatessen, to which each person was allowed one, and only one, were savored by us all at one point or another, always leaving us hoping for another batch to come.

I remember these like it was yesterday. Truly divine! I should attempt making them one day, but that will be the day I have a lot of spare time on hand, and a lot of fresh tamarind. Oh my! I’m in for a couple long hours …

For now, my tamarind craving is cured with a jar of tamarind jam offered to me at a recent agro-alimentary fair by this pleasant young woman who makes them in the South of the country. Probably not easy to make as well, this jam is certainly half as hard to make, as the seeds are left in. I had the tedious work of extracting them one by one, in candid memory of Mémé I guess. To get the three tablespoons I needed to make my marinade to coat my salmon filet I had a preview of what these little succulent balls will imply in terms of time. Save yourself the hassle though, you will find at the supermarket, a jar of thick delicious tamarind jam (probably from Thailand or somewhere else), seedless, deliciously exotic and close in taste as this little jar of wonder that I got.

Get cooking and bon appétit!

Ingredients for 4-6
1.5 lb of salmon filet
1 tbsp creole marinade (or 1/2 tbsp garlic paste)
3 tbsp tamarind jam
1 tsp Herbes de Provence
1 lime juice
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
8 leaves of fresh sage

Preheat your oven at 400°F.

In a small bowl, mix together your tamarind jam and garlic or creole marinade.

In a prep dish, line your salmon filet and squeeze on it your lime juice.

Top with some fresh cracked salt and pepper to taste, and sprinkle on your Herbes de Provence.

Heat your cast iron over high heat on the stove top with one tablespoon olive oil, which you will spread with a paper towel to remove the excess.

Place your filet skin up for one minute to get a quick grill coating on it, now reverse it in order to let it cook with skin down. Your skin will crisp up and become nice and crispy, while your salmon cooks.

With a spoon, spread on top of your salmon the tamarind marinade, and let cook.

Quickly sauté your fresh sage leaves on the side of the filet and add them on top of your salmon.

By now the salmon must be caramelizing nicely with the sweetness of the tamarind jam, from under and on top, with the heat from the cast iron skillet.

Your filet must have been on the stove top for about 6-8 minutes by now. You want to finish it in the oven for another 5-7 minutes for it to cook to perfection, while remaining juicy and tender, not dry.

Pick up your cast iron skillet with kitchen mittens, and stick it in the preheated oven for those extra 5-7 minutes.

Remove from heat carefully as skillet will be extremely hot, and serve immediately.

Accompany with a side of your choice. Myself, I opted for a deliciously smooth and simple butternut squash purée. Simply divine!

Table is served!


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