Toasted Fennel Encrusted Salmon

Last night while watching the “I Love Kellie Pickler” premiere with Andi, Kellie, Kyle, Allison and Dave, Pixie, Peanut and a couple of chickens… I cooked up my Toasted Fennel Encrusted Salmon with Smashed Purple Sweet Potatoes… Here’s the recipe! Let me know if you try it out and what you think!


Toasted Fennel Encrusted Salmon

Ken Johnson

serves 8

Hint From Ken:
Mix your own dry rub for this recipe. Try using a mortar and pestle or a pepper grinder to grind toasted fennel seeds to prepare this special ingredient.

What you’ll need:

  • 3 lbs Fresh wild or responsibly farmed salmon
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground toasted fennel
  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove
  • 1/4 allspice

Place fennel seeds on a pan in oven and bake at 270 degrees for 10 minutes

In a small bowl… mix toasted fennel, pepper, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, clove and allspice to create your rub.

Lay out your salmon and with clean hands, sprinkle spice mix over fish and rub gently to lightly but evenly coat and set aside.

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet on medium high heat. Place fish filets in pan with a little space between portions so as not to crowd the skillet.
Cook 2 minutes on each side (based on a 2 inch thick filet so adjust accordingly) and transfer to plate… loosely cover with tin foil.

Serve with Purple Smashed Sweet Potatoes and Balsamic Fig Glaze (see those recipes below)

Smashed Purple Sweet Potatoes
Ken Johnson
serves 8
Hint From The Cook:
This dish has a unique flavor and a beautiful color which makes for an impressive presentation. Try if you are looking for a little something different.
Excellent with grilled rack of lamb, salmon, pork tenderloin or bacon wrapped filet mignon.
What you’ll need:

  • 3 lb. Purple sweet potatoes (Whole Foods or local organic grocery is a good place to check for them)
1/2 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup of half and half
    1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 oz of bourbon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of each of the following: ground nutmeg, cinnamon and clove.
1 tablespoon of brown sugar

Peel potatoes and cut in half or quarter (depending on size but make sure no smaller than 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches per chunk )
Boil in well salted water until tender but not falling apart and strain.


While potatoes are boiling…
Melt butter in a medium size stock pot over medium heat…
Add half and half and whisk continually so as not to burn cream then reduce heat to low…
In a bowl, mix remaining ingredients and stir with a whisk or fork and then add to half and half… add bourbon and whisk together. Continue to simmer on low…


Add strained potatoes to cream, bourbon and spice mixture and stir with a sturdy wooden spoon or use electric beater until whipped…
Serve hot.
© Ken Johnson Hillbilly Supper Club 2015

Balsamic Fig Reduction

Ken Johnson

serves 8

  • Place chopped figs, wine, sugar, thyme, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and 1/2 cup of water in a pot.
  • Cover and bring to a boil on high heat then reduce to a simmer and leave loosely covered for about 30 minutes.
  • Let cool a little… then push through a colander into a bowl with a rubber spatula. Set sauce aside and continue to let cool.

© Ken Johnson Hillbilly Supper Club 2015

kyle     Kyle and Lucy watching #ILoveKP on CMT

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