I made a super awesome dinner on Friday. We’re talking, a tell-everyone-you-know-about-it awesome meal. A while back, I had dinner out with friends and ordered salmon. It was served with cheese grits and a fresh salsa, and oh, it was awesome. I am a big fan of shrimp and grits and/or anything with grits, so I wanted to recreate this dish myself. I didn’t use a recipe or copy it exactly, but I figured I’d try to quantify as much as I could so I could share with you guys! This is not an exact science, it’s more of a method!
Blackened Salmon & Cheddar Cheese Grits
For the fish:
4 Salmon Filets, skinned- approximately 5 oz. each
salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, cumin to taste
1 tbl. olive oil
For the salsa:
1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
2 ears of cooked corn on the cob, corn removed
1 jalapeno, ribs & seeds removed, finely diced (you can use less if it’s a really hot one)
1/2 of a medium onion, finely diced
1/2 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
the juice of 1/2 lime
Pinch of salt, pinch of garlic powder
small handful of cilantro, roughly chopped (*optional, but highly recommended!*)
For the grits:
1 cup quick-cooking grits (NOT instant)
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
cheddar cheese, 4 oz grated
1) Prep your salsa first. Add your tomato, onion, jalapeno, corn and black beans together, then stir. Squeeze the juice of half a lime over everything, add a pinch of salt and garlic powder. Add in some chopped cilantro, if you like cilantro like I do. Some people like lots and some people hate it, so add as much or as little as you care for. Stir everything and let it sit at room temp for at least 15 minutes so the flavors meld together.
2) While your salsa is percolating, add 1 tbl olive oil to a saute pan and preheat over medium heat for a few minutes. Season your fish with salt, pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika and a pinch of cumin. Do this to your taste, but thoroughly dust the fish with all spices.
3) Add seasoned fish to pan. Cook until dark golden on each side, about three to four minute a side. Remove fish from pan to rest.
4) Now, for the grits. Add 2 cups chicken broth and 1 cup water to a medium pot. Bring to a boil and add a pinch of salt. Add one cup of quick cooking grits. Bring back to boil, then cook over low heat for five minutes. Once your grits are cooked, add your cheddar cheese and stir everything until the cheese is melted.
5) To plate, add a healthy portion of grits to a plate, top with the cooked salmon then finish everything with a big spoonful of corn salsa.
6) Serve it immediately!