We had this orange glazed salmon last night and it was a feast for the eyes and mouth! The caramelized onions, which sit atop the crispy fish, are so easy to make as well as the perfect accompaniment for the fish. Although easy enough for weeknight fare, I know this will fast become one of my ‘company dishes’.
This recipe, from 2008, came from a magazine called Cooking Pleasures. The recipe needed a few changes to give the glaze more sticking power and deeper flavor. The recipe below is the one I’ve adapted.
Keys to success for this glazed salmon recipe: 1) Caramelized onions are sweeter than sauteed because of the caramelization process which brings out an ingredient’s natural sugars. Sweet onions will work best in this recipe because of their naturally higher sugar content. But you can use regular cooking onions too. Simply taste it after they’ve been cooked and if they aren’t sweet enough add 1 tsp. of brown sugar to the pan, stir and cook for another minute or two, and then taste again. 2) Reducing the sauce is important, otherwise it will not be thick enough to adhere well to the fish. Reducing, like caramelization, is another technique to concentrate flavors.
Orange Glazed Salmon with Caramelized Onions
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 2 1/2 cups thinly sliced sweet onions, such as Vidalia
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 4 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp. grated orange zest
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp. honey
- 1 Tbsp. orange marmalade
- 4 salmon fillets
- Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Cook onions with 1/4 tsp. salt about 4 minutes until onions begin to turn golden brown, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and cook another 5 minutes or until tender. Taste for sweetness. If the onions aren’t sweet enough add 1 tsp. brown sugar and cook, stirring frequently, for another minute. Taste again and repeat if necessary.
- Meanwhile, combine orange juice, vinegar, orange zest and rosemary in a small bowl; remove and reserve 2 Tbsp. for glaze. Add remaining mixture to onions, cook, uncovered 2 or 3 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Whisk mustard, honey and orange marmalade with the reserved glaze. Put glaze in a small saucepan and bring to a heavy simmer and let it reduce until it begins to thicken, about 2 or 3 minutes.
- Turn on the oven to broil and set the rack about 6 to 8 inches from the heating element. Prepare a broiler pan or a baking sheet by spraying with non-stick cooking spray. Place fillets on the pan or sheet and, using a spoon or basting brush, cover the pieces with the glaze. If the glaze isn’t thick enough to stick, return the glaze to the stove top and reduce some more. Once the glaze is on the fish, broil for 6 to 10 minutes depending on the thickness of your salmon (the rule of thumb is 10 minutes for a piece 1″ thick).
- Put a piece of salmon on each plate and then top with a generous serving of the caramelized onions (they will need to be briefly reheated while the salmon is cooking). Serve and enjoy!