Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Dutch Oven Blackened Salmon on Veggie Rice

So, I’ve been struggling with what to cook at the Eagle Mountain Pony Express Days Cookoff. I finally settled on some recipes, and last Sunday, I did a trial run. The cookoff is for three dishes: A bread, an entrĂ©e, and a dessert. I finally decided on the braided bread with an orange and brown sugar glaze, a blackened salmon on a bed of rice and veggies, and the paradise pie knockoff recipe I did a while back. I had to work out a schedule, that was pretty tight, to be able to deliver the three dishes on time.

I started out with mixing and kneading the bread. I used the same basic recipe I always use, but I halved it, because of what happened last time! Once it was kneaded, I set it aside to raise.

Then I started on the paradise pie. I got that made and on the coals.

Next I started on the spice mix for the salmon and the veggies for the rice. Here’s that recipe:

Mark’s Dutch Oven Blackened Salmon on Veggie Rice

2x 12” Dutch Ovens
20+ coals beneath each one

  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp crushed coriander
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp thyme
  • 2 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp oregano

  • 4-6 salmon fillets

First, I mixed all the spices in a ziplock bag. Then I cut the skin away from the salmon filets and cut them into chunks about two inches wide. I put the fillets into the bag, closed it, and shook it all up to really coat the salmon. Then I pulled the salmon out and put them into another bag, letting them sit and absorb the spices for about an hour.

About this time, the Paradise Pie was done, and I pulled it off the coals. I left it in the 10”, thinking that I’d reheat it later. The bread was ready, too, so I punched it down, and stretched it into three long ropes and braided them. I placed that back into a dutch oven, in a circle, and set that aside to proof (the second raise).

Then I started on the rice. I started by chopping up all the veggies.

  • 2 sweet peppers (I used half each of red, yellow, orange, and green, for color)
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced
  • 4 green onions, sliced

  • ¼ lb smoked sausage, thin sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic

  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 cups chicken stock

  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • salt and pepper

Once the veggies were all chopped, I put the onions, garlic, and sausage on the coals to brown. Once those were ready, I put in the veggies, the rice, and the stock. Then I added the lemon stuff and the seasoning. I covered it and left it on the coals (I transferred some to the top) for about 20 minutes, until the rice was done.

While the rice was cooking, and the bread was cooking, I did the salmon. I put a lot of coals under a 12” oven with some oil in the bottom. I let it heat up a lot. I actually put a thermometer in the dutch oven, and heated it up to 300 degrees. Then I took the salmon fillets and put them into the oil and let them sizzle for about two minutes before I turned them over. The seasoning was good and black, and man, it smelled GREAT! After another two minutes, I pulled it off the coals, covered it with the dutch oven lid, and let the residual heat cook the fish the rest of the way through.

Just before the bread was done, I added the orange glaze to the top. It was made of:

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • Juice from half an orange
  • Zest from one full orange
  • Liberal shakes of cinnamon and nutmeg

When the bread came out it was yummy! A bit too done on top, but the glaze tasted wonderful. I heated up the Paradise pie on the top coals of the rice, and melted the butter and cinnamon sauce in my 8” dutch oven on the bread’s coals. The pie I served up with whipped cream and chocolate syrup. The bread I served as it came out. The salmon was served on a bed of the rice. When I do it all for the cookoff, I’ll garnish them all up cool.

It really tasted good. I have to say, though, that these last few experiences where I’m cooking lots of dishes all at once are really tiring. That, and I find that I can’t pay enough attention to one dish to really make it the best I can. Once these cookoff adventures are over, I’m gonna go back to just cooking up one thing and learning how to really do one thing really well.


  1. It's good to see you posting again.

    Are you doing these same dishes in Lehi?

    Who is your partner?

    What is your shirt size?

    Answer your emails and I'll quit bothering you here! =0)

    Good luck this weekend! You have some SERIOUS competition. I'm glad I'm not in it.

  2. Hi Mark, This sounds like a lot of fun and delicious! We're having a salmon recipe contest and would love to have you enter your recipe. The prize is 15 lbs. of wild salmon. Recipes can be submitted to MarxFoods.com. And if you know of anyone else who you think would be interested, please help me spread the word! Thanks.

  3. I love cooking with my dutch oven too. So I'm definitely going to try out this recipe asap.




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