On our way home from our honeymoon in Talkeetna last week, my wife and I stopped at Kahiltna Birchworks. I made sure to sample most of their exceptional syrups, sauces, jams and treats before buying a bottle of top-shelf reserve birch syrup to take home with us.
When we arrived back in Kenai, one of my wife's co-workers gave us a bag of fresh-caught salmon and halibut as a wedding gift. I knew right away that I wanted to broil the sockeye salmon with a birch syrup glaze to mark the occasion, highlighting two of Alaska's beautiful local ingredients in one memorable dish.
This recipe only requires a handful of ingredients and takes less than 10 minutes under the broiler. But the result is a delectable salmon fillet fit for serving to guests or celebrating something special. It's great served alongside steamed quinoa or couscous and a variety of grilled or roasted summer vegetables. Save some of the birch syrup glaze to drizzle over everything.
Broiled salmon with birch syrup glaze
1 1/2 pounds sockeye salmon fillet, pin bones removed
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons birch syrup
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1 lemon, thinly sliced
Parsley, finely chopped (optional)
Place the oven rack on the top setting. Preheat broiler to high. Line a baking sheet with foil. Pat the salmon fillet dry and place it onto the baking sheet. Season is generously with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, stir together the birch syrup and mustard until smooth. Spoon half of the mixture evenly over the top of the salmon fillet, spreading to coat. Broil the salmon until it begins to brown on top, about 6-7 minutes for medium, watching closely. Rotate pan as needed to cook evenly. Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your fillet, so keep an eye on it and adjust cooking time as needed.
Top the salmon with lemon slices and parsley (if using). Portion by pulling the salmon away from the skin with a fork. Drizzle with remaining birch syrup glaze. Serve promptly while hot.
Maya Wilson lives in Kenai and blogs about food at alaskafromscratch.com. Have a food question or recipe request? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and your inquiry may appear in a future column.