Sockeye salmon in a red chile sauce, ready to serve. (Photo by Patty Schied)

Cooking for Pleasure: Sockeye salmon in a red chile sauce

Every summer I look forward to finding fresh sockeye salmon for sale in one of the local stores. Several years ago I happened to taste salmon baked with a red chile glaze. I loved it so much I experimented with different ingredients and came up with this recipe. The glaze has a warm sweetness to it which can be doubled or tripled depending upon the number of guests at your table. The glazing sauce preparation can also be prepared ahead of time and stored for several hours or even a day in the refrigerator. Once in the oven, the salmon only takes a few minutes to cook.

Salmon filets ready for garnishing. (Photo by Patty Schied)

Ingredients and directions for four servings

2 pounds of sockeye salmon filets (or coho or king)

4 dried red chilies such as Guajillo, California or New Mexico, available in your local supermarket

½ cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice

1 tsp dried oregano

2 finely minced garlic cloves

½ tsp of salt

4 limes sliced very thinly (for decoration)

Plain vegetable oil

Salmon fillets covered with lime, ready for baking. (Photo by Patty Schied)

Preparation

Step One: Wearing gloves to protect your hands, remove stems and seeds from chilies. Place in medium-sized bowl and cover with boiling water. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes. Place soaked chilies in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

Step Two: Strain chilies through a sieve and scrape into a small mixing bowl. Add lime juice, salt, minced garlic cloves, oregano and brown sugar. Whisk until blended. Taste for seasoning.

Step Three: Place the four salmon filets (eight-ounce serving size) onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Lightly salt and pepper.

Step Four: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread chile sauce generously on each filet. Place thin slices of fresh limes decoratively on each serving. Brush lightly with vegetable oil.

Step Five: Bake in preheated oven for approximately 10 minutes. Check to see if the fish flakes. If it does it is ready to serve. Be careful not to overcook. Baking time may be longer if using Coho or King salmon.

• Patty Schied is a longtime Juneau resident who studied at the Cordon Bleu in London, has cooked meals for both AWARE and the Glory Hall, and has written a cookbook. She can be reached at patschied@gmail.com. Cooking For Pleasure appears every other week in Capital City Weekly.

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