You know I love salmon. Combine it with something hot, spicy/sweet and tasty, and well, let’s just say you had me at hello! It’s a great time to pick up some salmon fillets. Atlantic, Pacific or farmed, they all have their wonderful merits. But think outside of the traditional lemon and capers, or salt, pepper and olive oil dressings for salmon. Add some spice from the condiment of the year (okay a few years ago), Sriracha, and then just for a little bit of extra spice, some Sambal Oelek. Sambal Oelek is a chili paste, Indonesian origin, thick and contains just chilies, vinegar and salt. It packs a walloping amount of chili taste without the searing heat – and the heat it does have is a tasty heat. I’ve also tried a similar paste with garlic, also very good. Sambal is most delicious on anything. I’ve used it in dips, cooked with it, added it to soups – no, I would never just stick a teaspoon in the jar and eat it directly from the spoon, letting the seeds work their magic on my tongue – that would just be wrong! Ahem! And well, maple syrup – could life get any sweeter!

So this is very simply done salmon. Just salt and pepper both sides of the salmon. This works best on a piece without skin. If you do happen to buy a piece with skin, it’s okay, just take it off using a sharp knife. Google how to remove the skin if you have not done it before, but please hold the skin with a piece of paper towel. It is less likely to slip out of your fingers and you are less likely to cut yourself as a result. Save the skin, salt and pepper it lightly and bake it between two parchment lined trays at 350f for about 15 – 25 minutes. Oh really really good! You must do this with the skin (here’s another technique from an old blog I’ve done this in a couple of my “What’s for Dinner” lunch classes whenever we have salmon and even those that crinkle their noses at the thought (you know who you are – I’ve caught you a couple of times 🙂, love it! Two sets of pictures below, the first is the salmon taken to the Wellington stage, the second is the salmon just out of the oven with a peach (they are in season now) salsa (sometimes, it’s just so good, you can’t wait for the finished product). So please try this dish. As always – enjoy!

1kg piece of salmon, with or without skin, but remove the skin for this recipe
3 generous tbsp. sriracha
3 generous tbsp. sambal oelek
2 tbsp. Maple Syrup
2 – 3 tsp. Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
1 pkg puff pastry (I prefer PC brand, it contains real butter), thawed but refrigerated

Preheat your oven to 400f
Oil a tray big enough to hold the salmon
Mix the sambal, sriracha and maple syrup together and set aside
Salt and pepper the salmon – both sides
Spread half the sambal mix on one side of the fish
Lay it down on the tray so the plain side is facing up – spread the balance of the sambal mix on the top
Bake for 8 minutes – the salmon will not be cooked through yet, but you will be cooking it longer in the oven
Remove from the oven and let cool slightly
Remove the puff pastry sheets from the refrigerator and unroll the first one onto a baking tray
Lay the salmon on top and in the middle of the sheet – working quickly, paint the border of the pastry with water and lay the second sheet of puff pastry on top of the first
Seal the edges and crimp decoratively
Lightly paint the top with the Dijon and grind some black pepper on top
Bake for 17 – 20 minutes – the pastry should be golden (it may be darker as a result of the mustard baking on the crust)
Remove when pastry is puffy and golden brown
Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing
Wellington 1

Wellington 2