Cafe Ena’s Salmon with Couscous and Jalapeno-Infused Cream

Cafe Ena’s Salmon with Couscous and Jalapeno-Infused Cream

-Stephanie Meyer-

-Photography: Susan Powers-

It has been a particularly cold, miserable spring in Minnesota.  On the heels of a particularly cold, miserable winter, folks ’round these parts are ready for some warmth, and color, and at least a few signs of life to hang their bad moods on.

In lieu of having the power to deliver 70 degrees and sunshine, Susan and I present this beautiful recipe, courtesy of Chef Hector Ruiz.  In typical Cafe Ena style, the dish bursts with color, and fresh flavor, and just enough heat to shake you out of a chilly funk.

The texture of crusty salmon against creamy couscous is just…beautiful.  In fact, I can’t think of a nicer dish to present to friends on a cool spring evening.  Or a warm one!  If you luck out and can even eat outside, that would be loveliest of all.

To work ahead a bit, season the salmon, saute the vegetables for the couscous, and prepare the jalapeno-infused cream in advance.

The peppers awaiting their fate.

Stephanie’s take on preparing the marinade.

Massaging the marinade into the salmon.

A quick roast of the pepper for the garnish.

We thought this was pretty.

Removing the charred skin.

Sautéing the vegetables

Don’t you just love the color?

Adding some extra heat to the Jalapeno Cream.

The cream goes into the couscous.

Searing the salmon.



Salmon with Couscous & Jalapeno-Infused Cream

Hector Ruiez

Serves 4



1 Tbsp. Jamaican jerk seasoning

1 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning

1 Tbsp. ground cardamom

4 salmon fillets


1/4 c. olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.  In a small bowl, mix seasonings & cardamon together.  Sprinkle the salmon fillets with salt, then rub about a teaspoon of seasoning mixture on each side of fillet.  (Can be done up to 4 hours in advance; cover and chill salmon.)

Heat a large, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat.  Add olive oil and then fillets to the pan.  Sear salmon one one side until nicely browned, about 2 minutes, then flip the fillets and immediately transfer pan to the oven.  Roast salmon for 4 minutes (for 1-inch thick fillets; add more time as necessary for thicker pieces).  Serve immediately with couscous & jalapeno-infused cream.



Serves 4

1 10-oz. package plain couscous

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 c. diced red peppers

1/2 c. diced red onion

1/4 c. sliced scallions


1/2 c. jalapeno-infused cream (recipe below)


Prepare couscous according to package directions.


Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Stir peppers, red onion, and scallions into the oil, with a light sprinkle of salt, and saute until just-tender, about 8-10 minutes.


Stir sauteed vegetables and jalapeno cream into cooked couscous.  Serve immediately.


Jalapeno-Infused Cream

Makes 2 c.

1 c. heavy cream

1/2 c. whole milk

1 whole jalapeno, smashed

1 tsp. yuzu (Japanese pepper paste; substitute wasabi paste or another chile paste)

1/2 c. sour cream


Put cream, milk, and jalapeno in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil.  Strain cream into a small bowl (discard jalapeno) and stir in yuzu and sour cream.  (Can be prepared up to 2 days in advance; cover and chill.  Rewarm before serving.)


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Sabera May 3, 2011 at 10:00 pm

My husband & I love salmon and I am always looking for different ways to serve it up. This recipe goes straight into the ‘what to cook when I want to impress’ folder 🙂 Better yet… I might just take the hubby and treat him to dinner at Cafe Ena. Really simple recipes and beautiful photography. This site is my new food eye candy destination.


Kate May 3, 2011 at 11:47 pm

I’ve made something really similar to this- love the addition of cardamom. Beautiful photos and presentation!


Stephanie Meyer May 4, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Thank you ladies! Yes, this dish is PACKED with flavor, layer after layer, although really easy to pull together. That cream is good on everything, gah, I tossed leftover with cabbage for a spicy slaw. YUM!


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