I went back and forth with what to call this recipe, I was between cajun salmon alfredo or blackened salmon Alla vodka. As you can see, I decided to go with blackened salmon Alla vodka. The reason for that is because I feel that cajun is so overused these days, trust me, I overuse it too! But when I looked back at how I started this recipe the key technique to note was that I blackened the salmon. I created a super charred crust by searing it in my cast iron skillet. This is a simple southern technique that doesn’t get enough love in my opinion. As you guys know, I’m Jamaican, and though we don’t call our technique blackening, we do something similar called browning. It’s the same thing, cooking the meat on direct heat to get a beautiful caramelized and dark color. It not only adds flavor but since I eat with my eyes first, it gives a really pretty color.
If you’re looking for a quick weeknight meal and you’re tired of eating your salmon the same old way then make this dish. It’s super flavorful, rich, creamy, and just downright delicious. I know, I know, you’re watching your carbs….use a pasta substitute like the chickpea pasta or serve over cauliflower rice. Do what you gotta do, but you have to try this method!
Dairy-free? No problem, all of my creamy based sauces can easily be replaced with full-fat coconut milk. It’s the perfect dairy-free alternative. Oh, and you’re probably wondering why I called it Alla Vodka if there is no vodka, well I used the traditional Alla vodka technique which is cream and tomato paste to create the sauce, I just skipped the vodka and it still turned out bomb. Add the vodka if you have it but honestly, you don’t need it here.
Ok, now that I’ve addressed all your concerns about substitutions, let’s get into the recipe.
- 2 6oz Salmon Filets
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp Tony's Cajun Seasoning
- 1/2 tsp Adobo
- 1/2 tsp Badia Seafood Seasoning or Old Bay Seasoning
- 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
- 1/4 tsp of Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
- Olive Oil + 1 tbsp of butter for searing
- For Sauce
- 1 small shallot, diced
- 1/4 red bell pepper, sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp of tomato paste
- 1 tbsp of butter
- 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 tsp of grated nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp of salt
- 1/4 tsp of old bay seasoning
- A small squeeze of fresh lemon juice to finish
- Flat-leaf parsley to garnish
- For Pasta
- 4-6oz of your favorite pasta noodle, I used thin spaghetti
- Cook pasta according to package instructions for al dente.
For Salmon & Sauce
- Heat oven to 425 degrees.
- Wash and pat dry salmon with paper towels.
- Combine all seasoning into a small dish and mix.
- Liberally sprinkle seasoning onto salmon filets on both sides.
- Pat the seasoning blend into the salmon, do not rub.
- Heat cast-iron skillet with olive oil and butter.
- Once hot over medium-high heat, add salmon fillets to the pan, skin side up.
- Sear salmon until blackened on the flesh side for about 3-4 minutes.
- Flip salmon to the skin side and sear for an additional 3 minutes.
- Remove salmon from the pan and turn the heat to medium.
- Remove any excess oil, leaving enough to keep the pan coated.
- To the pan, add shallots and bell pepper, saute until soft.
- Add tomato paste and mix for 3 minutes until the paste is a deeper red color.
- Add garlic and toast for an additional 30 seconds.
- Add butter the pan and once melted, deglaze the pan with heavy cream, and stir.
- Turn heat to medium-low and add parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt, and old bay seasoning.
- Bring the sauce to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Once the sauce is visibly thicker, add salmon back to the sauce and slather the sauce over the salmon.
- Put salmon in the oven on 425 for 5 minutes. *use the top oven rack
- Remove from the oven and serve over pasta.
- Squeeze fresh lemon juice and garnish with parsley.
You can substitute the heavy cream with full-fat coconut milk for dairy-free.
Check out the recipe demonstrated on my TikTok here.
Is this something you would make at home? Let me know in the comments section!
P.S. Check out my last recipe here.