Baked Salmon in Maple Marinade

I was inspired to concoct this recipe by a Martha Stewart pin for 3 ingredient marinades; the one in particular that caught my eye listed maple, dijon mustard, and thyme. It was described as a maple marinade and, as I do like sweeter flavors, I thought this sounded right up my alley. The fact that I only had honey mustard & not dijon in my fridge did not deter me; this substitution would only enhance the sweetness, right?

Well, it did smell pretty good coming out of the oven, and it did have some sweetness, but the overall descriptor I would actually use is earthy. This is an earthy marinade. And I have learned that I am not a big fan of earthy flavors. So, this recipe did not end up being a favorite of mine, but I’m sharing anyway in case there is someone out there who does like earthier flavors and wants to give it a try.

Salmon Marinade

3 approximately 7 oz. salmon fillets

1/4 cup Vegetable Oil

1/3 cup Water

1/3 cup Maple Syrup

1/4 cup Honey Mustard

Thyme, Cinnamon, & Rosemary to taste

First, I mixed the vegetable oil, water, syrup, & honey mustard together. Then I added the thyme but I was still getting a primarily mustard smell instead of maple, so I added a little cinnamon which helped. I tossed in a bit of rosemary for good measure because I tend to have bad luck with salmon retaining its fishy taste. I now know that was not necessary, & I would omit the rosemary entirely if I were to do it again because it only adds to the earthiness.

Once I had my marinade mixed, I placed the salmon fillets in a bag, poured the marinade over, & sealed it. I let the salmon marinate overnight, turned the bag over in the morning, then let it marinate until dinnertime.

When the time came to bake, I wrapped each fillet in foil & set the oven temperature to 425º. Now, I placed the salmon in the oven WHILE it’s preheating, THEN let it bake another 15-20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145º. I’m not sure why putting the salmon in while preheating makes it bake better, but I always get better results that way, so I’m sticking by it.

I also paired this with rice steamed with cinnamon & cayenne pepper, then drizzled with maple syrup. The syrup provided most of the flavor, but the cinnamon & cayenne gave the rice a kick that added a little variety to the very earthy taste of the salmon.

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