Bourbon Glazed Sous Vide Salmon with Blue Grits Recipe

This is a guest recipe by Cole Wagoner, a Portland transplant to Alabama heavily inspired by gourmet Southern Food. You can find him at @colewagoner on both Instagram and Twitter or read his bio below for more info. Now here's Cole!

This particular dish is sort of a mashup of my past and my present. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, salmon is plentiful and a large staple of your diet. Living in the South now, and having access to world class grits, it was inevitable that eventually they met. Shrimp and grits is one of my all-time favorite meals, so salmon wasn't that far off my radar when it came time to decide how to proceed with this dish.

Bourbon glazed sous vide salmon2

Sean Brock is a huge influence, and introduced me (by way of many avenues) to Anson Mills grains. They focus on preserving ancient grains, and reintroducing them to crops across the South. I recently picked up a bag of coarse ground blue grits (as well as cornmeal, polenta, and their famed Carolina Gold rice) and wanted to combine the flavors from home with the flavors of my new home. Paired with the fall flavors of sage and sweet potato, it was a perfect marriage for an amazing brunch.

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Modernist Tools, Ingredients, and Techniques Used

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Bourbon Glazed Salmon with Blue Grits

  • Published: December 2, 2016
  • By Cole Wagoner
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Total Time: 2 Hours plus Overnight Soaking for Grits
  • Cooks: 120°F (48.9°C) for 30 minutes
  • Serves: 1 serving

Ingredients for Bourbon Glazed Salmon with Blue Grits

Editor's Note: This recipe makes a serving for one, be sure to scale it up if you are cooking for more than yourself!

Bourbon glazed sous vide salmon
  • For the Blue Grits

  • Recipe Courtesy of AnsonMills.Com

  • 1/2 cup coarse Blue Grits
  • Water
  • Knob of butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • For the Sous Vide Salmon

  • 6 oz skinless salmon filet
  • Kosher salt
  • For the Bourbon Glaze

  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • For the Sweet Potato Relish

  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 1/2 sweet potato, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • Splash red wine vinegar
  • For the Crispy Sage

  • Fresh sage leaves, whole
  • Canola oil

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Cooking Instructions for Bourbon Glazed Salmon with Blue Grits

For the Blue Grits

At least 24 hours before serving

These grits will need soaked overnight prior to continuing with the rest of the recipe. Simply cover grits with 1.5 cups of water and leave at room temperature. The next morning they will be cooked directly in the soaking water.

At least 1 hour before serving

Prior to cooking, remove any husks/shells that have floated to the top of the soaking water. Bring the grits and the soaking water to a simmer and stir constantly for 6-8 minutes until slightly thickened. Cover and simmer as low as possible. Every 10 minutes, add hot water as necessary to keep grits from getting too tight.

When grits are soft, roughly 50-60 minutes, whisk in a knob of butter and season with salt and pepper.

For the Sous Vide Salmon

At least 1.5 hours before serving

Prior to cooking salmon sous vide, liberally apply kosher salt and put it in the fridge for up to an hour.

Preheat a water bath to 120°F (48.9°C).

Rinse the salmon off and apply the bourbon glaze then place in a sous vide bag and seal. Cook for 30 minutes.

There is no sear or finishing necessary. The salmon will be cooked through, but incredibly tender.

For the Bourbon Glaze

At least 45 minutes before serving

Combine bourbon and brown sugar and cook over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Whisk in butter until emulsified and cook over low heat until slightly reduced.

For the Sweet Potato Relish

At least 20 minutes before serving

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Heat a pan over medium heat.

Add diced shallot and tomato to the pan and cook until both have softened. While the shallot and tomato are cooking, put diced sweet potato into the pot of boiling of water and cook until just soft, 2-3 minutes. Drain the sweet potatos and add to the shallot and tomato mixture. Add the cumin, smoked paprika, and onion powder. Deglaze with a splash of red wine vinegar and saute until all the liquid is gone and the mixture is fragrant.

For the Crispy Sage

At least 10 minutes before serving

Heat canola oil in a pan over medium-high heat.

Add the whole sage leaves to the canola oil and flash fry until just crispy.

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My best selling sous vide cookbook will help you master sous vide and can be used as a reference for more than 80 cuts of meat and vegetables. It is also filled with inspiring recipes to get you on your way to sous vide success!

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This article is written by Cole Wagoner, a guest poster to the site. Here's some more information about him.

More About Cole Wagoner

Cole wagoner cooking

Originally from Portland, OR and now residing in Muscle Shoals, AL, I have a passion for sharing good food with people. Weekends are spent experimenting in the kitchen, and sharing and conversing on both Twitter and Instagram @colewagoner. Sous Vide is the first love in my arsenal, and a lot of my recipes and inspirations revolve around how to best incorporate my Anova. I also use an electric pressure cooker, and a bevy of other fun kitchen tools! Sometimes a Dutch Oven and a nice braise is exactly what I’m looking for, I try to not be dependent on any one device, but have become known for being a lover of all things Sous Vide.

Cole wagoner cornbread

My inspiration often comes from gourmet Southern food. Inspired heavily by Sean Brock (Husk, McCradys), I aim to elevate what is available and local, sourcing a large amount of my proteins, produce, and grains from farms in the South. I could geek out for hours talking about ancient grains, and the people who preserved them literally centuries ago, and the people who do the same today.

Being originally from the Pacific Northwest, it’s allowed me to live in two of the countries most important culinary regions, and often those get intertwined into some dishes. It allows me to pull from ideas and flavors that may not necessarily get used often, and I enjoy this “discovery” process. I’m going to share a few of my favorite recipes. Most of my recipes will be for one serving, but can easily be scaled.

Affiliate Disclaimer: Some links on this site might be affiliate links that if used to purchased products I might receive money. I like money but I will not endorse something I don't believe in. Please feel free to directly go to any products I link to and bypass the referral link if you feel uncomfortable with me receiving funds.
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