Copycat Jack Daniels Glaze

One thing you might not know about me is that I am a dip and sauce fanatic. I’m the girl that bugs the waiter/waitress for extra sauces – pretty much every single time I go out to eat. Extra side of salsa, a side of ranch, extra buffalo sauce, extra Yum Yum sauce…. You get the picture. Especially if there are fries and/or a wrap/sandwich of some sort. I think I might even embarrass Jesse a little bit because I’ve been known to ask for 3 or more sauces at one time.  It’s a problem, that’s for sure.

There is a popular chain restaurant that has a featured menu that is all about Jack Daniels Glaze. It’s sweet, salty, sticky, and delicious. We don’t go to that restaurant very often, but when we do, you can bet we’ll order the Sesame Jack Chicken Strips as an appetizer. And chances are good that I will also ask for an extra side of the sauce, just so I can dip my fries in it later.

When I came across this copycat on Kate’s blog during a previous recipe swap I was super excited. Of course that time around the Enchilada Casserole won the blog spot, but I didn’t forget about this glaze. When I was assigned Kate’s blog again for this swap, it was fate.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have to come clean and tell you that the sauce I made would technically have to be Johnnie Walker Glaze, since the only whiskey we have on hand at the moment is a bottle of black label. It’s technically different because it’s a Scotch whiskey and not a Tennessee Whiskey, but it worked. And guess what, this sauce is pretty spot! The only other change I made was to use only soy sauce instead of soy and teriyaki because… well, because I can’t read most of the labels at the grocery store (Chinese characters) so I’m not sure if my store had teriyaki sauce!


 

 

The Best Meal I’ve Had in a While

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It was Saturday night and I was looking for pretty much any excuse to not go to the gym and started thinking that I really hadn’t eaten lunch, and since it was already almost dinner time I should probably buckle down and come up with something (leaving no time for the gym). I peeked in the fridge and wasn’t really inspired by anything. Then I remembered a promise I made myself a few weeks ago to start using more cookbooks. I have a bunch of them, some really good ones too, but for some reason when I’m looking for meal inspiration I always start with the internet and my most trusted blogs/recipe sites. So I sat down on the floor in front of my cookbooks and started browsing (this browsing had nothing to do with looking for an excuse to not go to the gym).

I have a few cookbooks marked with sticky notes for things I want to try but still, nothing was calling to me. Finally I pulled out a 5 year old copy of Cooking Light magazine that I impulsively bought at the check out counter but had never actually used. I took one look at the picture on the cover and instantly remembered why I had impulsively bought it. At the time I saw the picture, thought it looked amazing, threw it down on the conveyor and didn’t think twice. When I got home I opened the magazine and read the title of the recipe “Pineapple and Teriyaki Glazed Salmon”. Ick! What had I been thinking, I don’t mix fruit flavors with savory dishes.

Well since that day I have expanded my palate by leaps and bounds. While I still don’t think I’ll be having pork chops and applesauce or eating a big hunk of apple pie, I am no longer afraid of a slightly sweet tang to my savory dishes. So it was decided. I ran to Trader Joe’s and picked up the things I needed. Can I just tell you how much I am kicking myself for not having made this dish sooner? It was amazing. The salmon was moist and flaky and the glaze was sweet, slightly acidic and salty. So so good. I served it with a simple couscous cooked in chicken broth with just a little bit of parsley and oregano added at the end. Also, I’m not usually a fan of frozen vegetable medleys but I saw this Healthy Colors mix a few weeks ago and it wasn’t too bad. Though next time I think I’ll just stick with fresh green beans because the Salmon is the star of this meal.

One last note, the original recipe called for 4 salmon fillets with this amount of glaze, trust me you’re going to want more than that (I got up mid meal to get just a little more). So if you make 4 fillets double the glaze and thank me later.


Pineapple Teriyaki Glazed Salmon
(Adapted from Cooking Light, May 2006)

2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp fresh orange zest
6 ounces pineapple juice
1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 (6-ounce) salmon fillets
1/4 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a small sauce pan, over high heat, combine the brown sugar, soy sauce, orange zest, pineapple juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool and thicken a bit.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Salt and pepper both sides of the salmon and set in the skillet. Cook for 3 minutes without moving. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Carefully remove the salmon from the pan and place with the cooked side up in the baking dish. (Alternatively you could use a cast iron skillet, flip the salmon and put the whole pan straight into the oven)

Bake for 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and generously brush glaze over the tops of the salmon. Return to oven for 1-2 minutes or until the fish flakes easily.

Serve with couscous or rice and a simple vegetable.