Ancho-Chile Spiced Salmon With Avocado Crema

Serves 2.

Note: If you want to brine the salmon in advance (directions below), you will need to prepare this one to three hours in advance. From the Detroit Free Press.

• 2 center-cut salmon pieces, about 5 oz. each, rinsed and patted dry

• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

• 1 tbsp. ancho chili powder (or favorite chili powder)

• 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

• 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

• Pinch of cayenne

• 1/4 tsp. cumin, optional

• 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard

• 2 tbsp. maple syrup or agave

• 1/2 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled

• 1/4 c. Mexican crema or sour cream

• 2 to 3 tsp. lime juice


Brine the salmon, if desired. To do so, place the salmon in a glass baking dish. In a large glass measuring cup, mix together 6 cups water with 1/4 cup salt and 1/4 cup sugar until both dissolve. Pour over the salmon pieces, making sure there’s enough liquid to completely cover them. If there isn’t, add more. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours. When ready to cook, remove salmon from brine, discard brine and rinse and pat salmon dry.

To cook the salmon: Season the salmon pieces lightly with salt and black pepper.

In a small bowl, combine the ancho chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne and cumin. Sprinkle all over the salmon. Let stand for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a separate small bowl combine the mustard and maple syrup.

In a blender, food processor or drink blender combine the avocado, sour cream, lime juice and pinch of salt. Process until the mixture is smooth, but slightly on the thick side, like mustard. Set aside.

Preheat the broiler. Place the salmon on a foil-lined baking sheet. Spoon some of the maple glaze on top — some will drip off. Place under the broiler, about 6 inches from the heat element, and broil about 10 minutes. Halfway through, spoon on more glaze if desired.

Remove from broiler, let stand a few minutes before plating. Slide a spatula between the skin and the salmon flesh and transfer salmon to a plate. Serve drizzled with crema.

Nutrition information per serving (unbrined):

Calories 420 Fat 22 g Sodium 460 mg

Carbohydrates 21 g Saturated fat 6 g Total sugars 14 g

Protein 33 g Cholesterol 100 mg Dietary fiber 4 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 ½ carb, 4 ½ medium-fat protein.