Food for Thought: Grilled Salmon with Balsamic Maple Pear Reduction, and Cabbage Faux Gratin

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Jan 17, 2011
Largo, FL and Dunlap, TN
In our quest to eat healthier, one of the things we hear most often is to cut back on "red meat" and add more poultry and seafood to our diet.  Salmon is considered to be a "Power Food" by most nutritionists.  It is loaded with Omega 3's and healthy oils that are supposed to help lower cholesterol.  This time of year salmon is plentiful at the local grocers, and we were able to pick up a whole filet for $4.99/lb.  Granted, this was farm-raised, and wild-caught are much better in both taste and nutrition, but the trade-off seems worth it when the wild-caught is up around $12/lb.  I don't want to open yet another thread of the advantages of wild over farm, so let's save that for another thread.

The rub I used on the salmon had some heat from cayenne and chipotle, and was complimented nicely by the slightly sweet balsamic/pear reduction.  The Cabbage "Faux" Gratin satisfied the need for something with a creamy texture and replaced what would normally be a starch in this meal.  We included steamed green beans to balance out the plate.

I cut the filet into roughly 6oz portions, and vacuum seal/freeze the unused.

Start with 2 -  6oz salmon filets, skin removed

I made a dry rub for the salmon of:

1 Tbs Splenda Brown Sugar blend

1 tsp Chili powder

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp ground chipotle pepper

Mix all together and sprinkle on both sides of the fillet.

Here are the salmon pieces with the rub.  Let these sit for about a half hour.


Next, we need a few things for the Maple/Balsamic Pear reduction

1/4 cup Trop-50 Orange Juice

1/4 cup water

1-1/2 Tbs balsamic vinegar

1 Tbs pure maple syrup

1 pear, cored and diced

1/4 cup pineapple, cubed (fresh if possible)

3 Tbs Craisins dried cranberry (regular or cherry)

Here are all the ingredients for the reduction and the rub


Put all the ingredients for the reduction in a saucepan over medium, bring to a boil reduce heat, and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated and thickened.


Next, put the salmon on a well-oiled hot grill, skin side up (to get the char-marks), grill for 2-3 minutes, then turn the salmon skin-side down and finish cooking.... sorry, I don't have any pictures of the salmon on the grill....

Plate and spoon the pear reduction over the fish.  Serve with Cabbage Faux Gratin, and steamed green beans.


Cabbage "Faux Gratin"

This dish is simple, and really tasty.  It uses cheddar flavored popcorn seasoning, which has no fat, and is surprisingly low in sodium.

1/2 head cabbage, cut up into wedges

Margarine spray

cheddar popcorn seasoning

Butter-flavored coking spray (Pam)


Spray a non-stick pan with butter flavored cooking spray over medium heat, toss cabbage to coat, cook covered, tossing occasionally until some of the pieces start to brown,


then spray with margarine spray and sprinkle with cheese topping.


The first time we tried this dish, we made it with Jicima, and it turned out really good.  But we had a 1/2 head of cabbage in the fridge, and it actually was better. 




By the way, for those who follow Weight Watchers like me, this entire meal is only 10 points on the new points-plus system. It also counts as three fruit/vegetable servings and one healthy oil.  
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I'm not a big Salmon fan but Lots of possibilities that can be used...I want to try that Cabbage recipe...should work with Cauliflower too...Thanks...JJ
I'm not a big Salmon fan but Lots of possibilities that can be used...I want to try that Cabbage recipe...should work with Cauliflower too...Thanks...JJ


Never tried it with cauliflower but that's a great idea.

If you don't care for salmon, the reduction is also very good over smoked or rotisserie chicken.  In fact the first time I made it was to go with a smoked turkey breast. 
That does look and sound great! I'm with Jimmy on the salmon, but with turkey, chicken and a few other species of fish that I do enjoy would definitely make for be a fine and delicious meal that I would eat many times.

I had to look, with the cabbage faux gratin in the title...very interesting and simple preparation, and quite versatile as well.

Nicely done!

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