Monday, November 21, 2011

The Secret Recipe Club: Citrus-Spice Seared Salmon over Parmesan Cheese Grits

It's that time of the month again.  No, not that time, the Secret Recipe Club time!  Amanda is a genius for coming up with this club.  I love getting my assignment and then I love seeing who got me.  Then I ask, "I wonder why they chose that recipe?  Of all the recipes on my blog, why that one?  For the first 2 months, my secret admirers chose the same recipe!  What are the odds?  I swear I have more recipes than Marion Cunningham's Parker Brownies!

This month I was excited to be assigned Wendy from Weekend Gourmet!  I was already a follower of Wendy, so I was excited to get to try one of her recipes I had already bookmarked.  Wendy has the best giveaways too!  I won one of the best, the Whoopsies! whoopie pies.  She also just got back from NYC and seriously hit up every single place that is on my list for our next visit - Levain and Shake Shack in one day?!  I wish she could have carried me in her purse (:

Decision time.  With all the current hype in the blog world for Biscoff spread, these Triple Threat Biscoff Blondies definitely tempted me.  Or how about the Margarita Fettucini with Turkey Tenderloins?  I'm saving that one for my Thanksgiving leftovers!  In the end, I settled on her Citrus-Spice Seared Salmon over Parm-Goat Cheese Grits.  Say that 3 times fast!

What can I say?  The combination of the marinade and then the rub gave the salmon an incredible amount of flavor!  I think either would be great on their own accord but together, it's just packed with flavor.  All 4 members of my family give this one a thumbs way up, especially little Sawyer who couldn't get enough of that pink goodness!

The modifications I made were minimal.  I didn't have goat cheese, so I used a Asiago/Parmesan blend for the grits.  Even though I've made grits dozens of times before with various types of cheeses, I have to say this flavor ranks up there with my favorites.  I also have my own tried and true formula for grits that I have been threatened to stray from.

I clearly made a great choice with this recipe.  Wendy, thanks for helping me prepare a great meal for my family.  I already have another one of your recipes lined up to make next week!

Citrus-Spice Seared Salmon over Parmesan Cheese Grits
adapted from Weekend Gourmet

For the Salmon

1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (from 1 large orange)
1 large lime, juiced
1 T. olive oil
2 T. soy sauce
1/4 tsp pepper

3 T. brown sugar
1 1/2 T. chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
zest of one lime

4 - 5oz pieces of salmon, skin on

For marinade:
In a small bowl, whisk all ingredients together.  Place salmon fillets in a large zip top bag and pour marinade over to coat.  Refrigerate for 2-4 hours. (I only marinated mine for 30 minutes and it still absorbed quite a bit of the flavor.)  While the fish marinates, make the rub by combining all ingredients in small bowl.

After the salmon has marinated, remove from fridge and apply a generous coating of the rub to the flesh side of the fish.  Heat a large grill pan or non-stick pan with 1 T. olive oil over medium-high heat.  Make sure it is hot enough before you proceed - you want to get a good sear on the salmon.  Reduce the heat to medium and add the fillets, spice side down.  Allow the rub to caramelize about 3 minutes before flipping.  Continue cooking 5-7 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork in the thickest part. 

Parmesan Cheese Grits

1 cup water
1 cup skim milk
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
3/4 cup instant grits
dash of salt
1/2 cup Asiago/Parmesan cheese blend

Bring water, milk, and broth to a boil.  Gradually whisk in grits and salt. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove lid and whisk in cheese.  Turn off heat but allow the pan to continue cooking on the burner for another 2-3 minutes to thicken up.


  1. Your salmon looks fantastic-nice and moist. I never think to make grits but now I'll put them on my list. Happy new follower :-)

  2. I have some salmon in the freezer just dying to made into this recipe! And cheesy grits...that's over the top!

  3. yum! I can totally see myself making this

  4. Always looking for another salmon recipe! And we'll have to try the grits 'cause I've never made them.

  5. Oh what a beautiful salmon! I am making salmon tonight and I may just have to try this. I have all the ingredients for the fish but not the grits :( You did a great job! (And you have a really lovely blog!)

  6. Great job, Danielle! Sorry I'm just getting here to comment...busy day at work! This is my favorite way to make salmon, and the grits are the perfect side dish. Now I want to make this's been a few weeks!

  7. I need to convince my husband salmon won't kill him, this looks fantastic! And the grits? You had me at cheese.

  8. I love Wendy's site. I covet her last trip to NYC. This recipe looks great!

  9. Man am I bummed! I just made salmon last night and couldn't think of anything to do with it! lol, go figure! This looks super yummy and a totally different take then how we normally make our salmon.

  10. Wow, I love salmon. The citrus is a great flavor twist. You chose a great recipe for the Secret Recipe club. Here is what I cooked up from group C: :)

  11. ok, this looks amazing. i'm going to make it next week. grtis and all, and i've never made grits. hope you have a great thanksgiving!!

  12. Yum~This looks so good. I love the Asiago and Parmesan for the grits!