Spicy Salmon

I love challenging myself to get a decent dinner on the table in a reasonable amount of time, even on a busy day.  Husband has a devilish commute, so I usually beat him home by 60 to 90 minutes. Because cooking is a therapeutic meditation for me, I like to wind down with a recipe (okay, and a glass of wine) and a little music, and see if I can be ready to serve a great meal as Husband walks in the door.

Yesterday I helped my mother-in-law out with my twin niece and nephew.  I got home around 4, fed the cats, and got to work on this Chipotle-Orange-Glazed Salmon, a recipe from Dr. Oz’s Eat What You Love diet, featured in Good Housekeeping, April, 2012.



  • 1 c. quinoa
  • 1 orange
  • 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • 2 tsp. adobo sauce (from chipotle chiles)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 bunch radishes
  • ½ c. fresh corn kernels
  • ½ c. fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 green onions
  • salt
  • 4 pieces skinless salmon fillet


  1. Arrange oven rack 4 to 6 inches from broiler heat source. Preheat broiler on high. Line jelly-roll pan with foil. In 2-quart saucepan, prepare quinoa as label directs. Transfer to bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, from orange, grate 1 teaspoon peel and squeeze 1/2 cup juice. In blender, puree chipotle, adobo sauce, garlic, cumin, and orange juice.
  3. To bowl with quinoa, stir in radishes, corn, cilantro, green onions, orange peel, and 1/8 teaspoon salt.
  4. Arrange salmon on prepared pan. Sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt, then brush generously on all sides with chile mixture. Broil 5 to 7 minutes or until just opaque throughout. Serve salmon on quinoa pilaf.

I juiced my lonely orange and came up with 1/4 cup of juice, so I began to thaw only 2 salmon filets and cut this recipe in half (I was generous with the chipotle chile and adobo sauce). Once the quinoa was at a simmer, I put my dehydrated orange peel (lazy) in the pot and let it do its thing.  We have this great miniature food processor, so I put all the glaze ingredients in there and gave it a spin.

I’ve told you before how my broiler and I don’t get along, plus, it’s still hovering close to 90 degrees here.  I put my thawed salmon filets in a tiny (foil-lined, sprayed with non-stick spray) baking pan that fits perfectly in our toaster oven.  It has a broil setting, but I decided to bake the fish instead (I have trust issues with all broilers).  I salted and peppered the filets, poured the glaze over the fish, and set the temp at 400 and the time at 30 minutes.  While the salmon cooked, I swapped out the corn for seedless cucumber (corn is on the no-no detox list). Our radishes were a little limp so I opted to skip those as well.  Husband walked in the door just as I was ready to check the temp of the fish– which was ready to go (it probably would have been fine after 20 minutes, but it was juicy and delicious despite the extra cooking time).


Verdict:  the radish would have been nice for color and crunch, but the cucumber was crisp and a decent substitution.  The garlic in the fish glaze was subtle and the orange peel in the quinoa was barely detectable.  I think a squeeze of orange juice over the finished mix would have been a nice touch (if I had any oranges left).  The spice level on the fish was pleasant and the quinoa was a perfect accompaniment–it could have used a little more salt, but the vegetables and cilantro were very fresh and light.  We will definitely be making this again, and Client will likely be seeing it as well.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s