| |

Salmon And Grits

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

Salmon and grits – a quick and fulfilling dinner for you and your loved ones. A staple of Southern cuisine, ready in only 30 minutes. 

Blackened salmon and buttery grits is one of my favorite food pairing. The spicy salmon is a perfect match to Southern-style creamy grits.

Tips For The Best Salmon

I do cook seafood often, but mostly stick with white fish. I did ruin salmon a few times, and here is what I learned from that:

  • To prevent sticking, bring your salmon to room temperature before cooking.
  • Preheat your skillet, not your oil. Add oil, just before you want to add your salmon.
  • Always cook the salmon skin-down first. 
  • Flip your salmon as soon as you see a white line across the center of your salmon fillet. It will only take few minutes on the other side. The salmon should flake easily but still be firm to the touch.

What Is Blackened Salmon?

Blackening is a term used to describe a Cajun cooking method. It is a method where salmon or any kind of fish is coated with dry spices.

During the cooking, these spices will get that characteristic black charred color. The spice blend varies from recipe to recipe, but in most cases it has paprika, cayenne, and basil or oregano.

The good news is that you do not have to run to the restaurant or Southern parts of the States to enjoy Cajun cuisine.

Since blackened seasoning is a mix of common spices, you probably have all the ingredients you need. If you do not have cayenne pepper, you can use chili powder instead. 

How To Make The Perfect Grits

Grits, just like polenta, are made from dried corn that has been stone-ground. When cooked slowly in the water, grits release their starch, creating a creamy porridge-like dish.

You can eat grits for breakfast or serve them with some kind of protein for a full dish. I mentioned polenta because many people have doubts about these two, what they are, and how they can be used.

Both grits and polenta are made from corn, but the main difference here is what type of corn. While polenta is made from yellow corn, grits are made from white corn or hominy.

Besides that, grits and polenta have different color. Polenta is bright yellow in color, while grits are white.

Another difference is in the texture. Polenta has a flakier, coarser texture, which leads to a slightly chewier bite. Grits are usually finer. 

Polenta is known as Italian grits, as some like to call it, and I have made this kind to serve with salmon before, and they work as a good substitute.

Which Grits To Buy

When buying grits, go with the real thing. You should never reach grits (or polenta) with instant or quick-cooking label on the package.

This means the grits are highly-processed or partially cooked. Always chose regular stone-ground grits.

How To Cook Stone-Ground Grits

Soak your grits before use – if you want creamy grits, always soak them before use. This is a trick I picked up from Southern cuisine. When you soak the grits, they will cook faster and become creamier.

You can soak grits overnight, or just do a quick-soaking method; boil grits and water and let them stand for 20 minutes. Finish off cooking over the stove.

Add some butter, milk, or cream into the grits – you can cook grits in water or milk. I have tried both versions, but for me, there was no difference.

If you are worried that you may burn your milk, you can cook the grits in water and then just add some milk in the end. You can also add butter in the last step. As long as you add one, it doesn’t matter when it is added.

If you want to add cheese into the grits, I recommend sharp cheddar or some parmesan. Both of these have a sharp flavor which will compliment grits perfectly.  

Salmon And Grits Recipe

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Servings: 2

Ingredients

For the grits:

  • ½ cup stone ground grits
  • 2 ¼ cups water
  • ½ cup half cream
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Salt, to taste
  • Sharp cheddar, freshly grated, as desired, optional

For the salmon:

  • 2 4oz. salmon fillets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Instructions

1. To cook the grits, place water, half cream, butter, and salt in a sauce pot.

2. Add grits and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and set aside for 15 minutes.

3. In the meantime, season the salmon. Brush the salmon with 1 tbsp olive oil and lemon juice.

4. Sprinkle spices over the salmon and rub in.

5. Heat remaining oil in a skillet. Add salmon fillets and cook, skin side down first, for 5-7 minutes. Flip the salmon fillet and cook for few more minutes or until the fish starts to flake easily.

6. To finish your grits, place them over the stove and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

7. Serve grits on a plate, and top with a salmon. 

8. You can sprinkle it all with some chopped chives for garnish.

Salmon And Grits

Salmon And Grits

Yield: 2 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

For the grits:

  • ½ cup stone ground grits
  • 2 ¼ cups water
  • ½ cup half cream
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • Salt, to taste
  • Sharp cheddar, freshly grated, as desired, optional

For the salmon:

  • 2 4oz. salmon fillets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Instructions

  1. To cook the grits, place water, half cream, butter, and salt in a sauce pot.
  2. Add grits and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and set aside for 15 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, season the salmon. Brush the salmon with 1 tbsp olive oil and lemon juice.
  4. Sprinkle spices over the salmon and rub in.
  5. Heat remaining oil in a skillet. Add salmon fillets and cook, skin side down first, for 5-7 minutes. Flip the salmon fillet and cook for few more minutes or until the fish starts to flake easily.
  6. To finish your grits, place them over the stove and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Serve grits on a plate, and top with a salmon. 
  8. You can sprinkle it all with some chopped chives for garnish.

Related Articles

What Temperature To Cook Salmon? – The Ultimate Guide

What Herbs Go With Salmon? The 10 Best Herbs For Salmon

Salmon Fish And Chips

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *