Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Project Cookbook: Macadamia Nut and Basil Crusted Salmon

Blogger has been driving me nuts. I really could use a very simple “for dummies” blog platform because lately blogger has not been user friendly. At all. I loved the new modern templates they came up with that really showcased photos from each post, but with the new template I lost my reading list on the side.

My reading list and labels are much more important to me, so I was thrilled when I finally, FINALLY figured out how to change it back to the good ‘ol fashioned template. Hooray!

And Google +? Yeah, I’m on it, but I still don’t get it.

Now on to food!

Curtis and I eat salmon almost every week. Right now we’re in delicious Copper River salmon season, but throughout the rest of the year, I just keep my freezer stocked with Costco bags of wild salmon filets. Our favorite preparation is to marinate the fish in Yoshida’s teriyaki sauce, cook it in a 300 degree oven for 20 minutes (I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it comes out perfect every time!) and then to serve it over stir fried veggies.

Luckily this is an easy preparation and neither one of us has gotten tired of it.

But, in the spirit of my cookbook project and because Curtis brought home a 2-pound “sample” bag of macadamia nuts, I decided to try this recipe from my favorite Hawaiian cookbook we picked up at Costco when we were in Kauai: The Hali’imaile General Store Cookbook. By the way, The Hali’imaile General Store, in my humble opinion, is one of the best restaurants on Maui. This recipe calls for Ono and they serve it with mango lime butter, but I used salmon and skipped the butter.
I still haven't organized my cookbook shelves since I started this project. But it will get done. Someday. 
I was lazy and chopped the nuts and basil in the food processor vs. by hand so it turned into a bright green paste. I’m sure if I had chopped it by hand, this dish would have been prettier. But this was quick and tasted great! And have you tried Trader Joe's wild rice mix? Even though it takes ages to cook it, it's our favorite!

Macadamia Nut-Crusted Wild Salmon 
Adapted from The Hali’imaile General Store Cookbook by Bev Gannon 

½ cup macadamia nuts, whole or pieces
2 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
½ cup fresh basil
½ cup good quality mayonnaise (I used half non-fat Greek yogurt)
2 teaspoons Sriracha (Thai garlic-chile paste)
6 (6-ounce) salmon filets (or Ono or any other fish you like)
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

To prepare the coating, place the nuts, panko, and basil in a food processor and process until fine. Spread on a plate. In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise and chili paste and mix well. Lightly season the fish with salt and pepper. Evenly spread a light coat of the chile mayonnaise on one side of each fish fillet. Coat the same side evenly with the coating.

Here the directions tell you to fry the fish over medium heat, crust side down, in oil for 3 minutes and then to flip the fish and finish it in a 450 degree oven for 5 minutes. Instead, I coated mine on both sides with the nut basil mixture and baked it in a 300 degree oven for 20 minutes. And because it was pretty thick salmon, we ended up throwing it back in the oven for an additional 5 minutes.

Verdict? It was really good and I’ll be adding this recipe to my regular salmon rotation!

Fun fact: One means “delicious” in Hawaiian

Recipe #5 from Project Cookbook: My 2012 New Year’s Resolution to cook at least one recipe from every cookbook I own.


  1. I think blogger might be the dummy, not you. I'm afraid to do anything for fear I can't change it back. Glad you got your stuff back! That salmon crust sounds awesome!

  2. Way to go on working your way through your cookbooks. It's definitely hard to try new things when you have so many trusted recipes. I cannot wait to have salmon on a weekly basis. I am so tired of seeing Atlantic Farm Raised Salmon and not to mention the other completely nasty looking seafood that is displayed in Albany supermarkets. I am beyond excited to become reacquainted with PNW cuisine.