This particular recipe has a couple of different extra tasty components. You already know we love salmon and cook with it all the time - see our Salmon Recipes - and we're giving it the Autumn/Fall treatment with flavors of the season. We're talking pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves. And habanero peppers. Two ways! We start with a sweet brown sugar glaze that incorporates pumpkin, habanero, and all those beautiful spices. Glazes bring a double whammy of sweet and taste to many a dish, along with some of that heat we tend to crave. Did you know we like heat? Especially that habanero pepper heat.
The glaze drips over the salmon first before you bake it, then more as you are ready to serve. We baked our salmon this time, which takes a little longer, but it always gives a nice and evenly cooked salmon fillet. Serve this over your polenta - wait! I forgot to mention polenta! I tend to treat polenta as an alternative to vegetables. It is super easy to make and it can often look a bit more "fancy", allowing you to set the star of the dish over the top of it. Our polenta brings in onion, garlic, more habanero pepper (yes!!) and, of course, more pumpkin. This is a very pumpkin dish, though no worries. It does not overwhelm the flavor of the salmon. Everything here balances quite nicely.
Go ahead. Be generous with the glaze. You are allowed. It was hard to serve too much of it. Enjoy!
Habanero-Pumpkin Glazed Salmon over Spicy Pumpkin Polenta
2 6-ounce salmon fillets
FOR THE GLAZE
1 cup water
1 cup brown sugar
1 habanero pepper, chopped
3 tablespoons cooked pumpkin
3 cinnamon sticks
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground clove
FOR THE POLENTA
½ small onion, chopped
1 habanero pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup corn meal
2 cups water
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground clove
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cooked pumpkin
- Prepare your glaze first. Add sugar and water to a pan and heat to medium-low. Allow the sugar to melt and incorporate into the water.
- Add remaining ingredients and simmer about 5-6 minutes, stirring here and there. Remove from heat and remove cinnamon sticks. Reserve glaze until ready to use.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Set the salmon into a lightly oiled baking dish and brush generously with the glaze. Bake for about 15-18 minutes, or until cooked through to your preference.
- While salmon is cooking, heat a small pot to medium heat. Add olive oil along with onion and habanero. Cook about 5 minutes to soften. Add garlic and cook another minute.
- Add corn meal and water. Stir and bring to a quick boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes to thicken. Stir in seasonings and heat another minute or so.
- Remove from heat and stir in cooked pumpkin.
- Serve pumpkin polenta onto plates then top with salmon. Drizzle with more glaze and serve!