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Alaska Salmon with Cranberry-Onion Jam

Alaska Salmon with Cranberry-Onion Jam
Butternut squash and cranberry-onion jam paired with Alaska salmon make a colorful and delicious dish.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 min, not including cooling times
  • Total Time: 70 min, if making jam ahead
  • Servings: 4 servings
  • Yield: 4 ( 3-4 oz each) salmon fillets


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 fillets, 3-4 ounces each Alaska salmon
  • 1 lb brussels sprouts
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • Cranberry Onion Jam

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 julliened white onions
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup whole cranberries
  • salt to taste
  • Butternut Squash Puree

  • 1 lb butternut squash
  • 4 oz. butter
  • water
  • salt to taste
Recipe courtesy of Chef Drew Johnson


  1. Step 1 Prepare Brussels sprouts

    Bring a pot of water to boil over high heat. Once boiling add the brussels sprouts and cook until a bright green color develops, about 5 minutes. Once the brussels sprouts are cooked, strain and reserve for serving with the salmon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss these with the butter at this time.

  2. Step 2 Prepare cranberry-onion jam

    In a heavy bottom saucepan add olive oil, onions, and brown sugar then simmer over a low heat until the onions are very soft. It is very important that you keep the pot stirred to avoid scorching. While the onions are cooking add the cranberries to a food processor and pulse until the cranberries are minced. Add the minced cranberries to a pot of cold water and stir, this step will separate the cranberry seeds from the cranberry pulp. Using a strainer skim the cranberry pulp (which is the part that will be floating) and reserve. Discard the remaining water and cranberry seeds. Next you will add the vinegar and the cranberries and continue to cook over low heat until most all moisture has been evaporated. Cool to room temp for serving. This will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week and can be prepared in advance.

  3. Step 3 Prepare squash puree

    Peel and dice butternut squash. In a small saucepan add enough water to cover squash. Bring squash to a boil over high heat. When water has begun to boil turn the temperature down to bring the squash to a low simmer. Cook the squash until fork tender. Once the squash is tender remove from the heat and strain. Reserve some of the liquid to add later. Let the squash cool to room temperature then add that and your butter to a good quality blender. Be very careful when blending hot liquids! Start blending on low speed until it begins to become smooth. If too thick add a small amount of reserved water to the blender. Finished product should be a smooth silky texture. Finally add salt to taste to preference.

  4. Step 4 Prepare salmon and serve

    The Alaska salmon can be thawed ahead of time in your refrigerator. Place the salmon into a pan lined with paper towels and cover with plastic wrap. You can thaw the fish overnight before you prepare your meal.

    Over a medium heat add the olive oil to a cast iron skillet. While the pan is heating pat dry your salmon fillets to remove any excess moisture that may be present from slacking out the fish. Season your salmon with salt and pepper. Add the salmon to the pan flesh side down if the skin is off. If the skin is on add the salmon skin side down. Cook until flesh or skin has begun to crisp. Once the salmon begins to appear crisp and browned, flip and turn off the heat. The fish should be cooked to an internal temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid the fish from becoming dry or over cooked. Remove the fish from the pan and serve with the previously prepared accompanying ingredients. The sweetness of the butternut squash puree compliments the rich flavor of the salmon. The cranberry onion jam will add a wonderful tart finish to this dish.

Cooking Technique Video

Recipe courtesy of Chef Drew Johnson