Blackened Salmon Grilled Cheese


  • 2 4 ounce Alaskan sockeye salmon fillets , with skin on
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dark brown sugar (light is fine too)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 4-5 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 sliced sourdough bread (or your favorite artisan bread)
  • 4 ounces gruyere , sliced
  • dijon mustard , optional
  • butter , for the sandwiches


  1. Combine the brown sugar and old bay in a small bowl. Lightly brush the salmon fillets with oil and rub the seasoning mixture evenly over both.
  2. Heat a large heavy-bottomed pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat, and add the oil. When the oil begins to smoke quite heavily shut the heat off under the pan. Add the salmon, 1 at a time, in a single layer, flesh side down, in the oil. Turn the heat back on under the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Use a spatula to turn the salmon to the other side. Cook the salmon over medium heat, until the skin becomes crispy, about 5 to 6 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly. When cool enough to handle, remove the skin from the fillet and flake on a small plate.
  3. Heat the Panini maker according to instructions, or use a griddle pan on medium heat. Spread a thin layer butter on the outside of the bread. Repeat with the remaining bread slices. Place two slices of bread, butter side down on the pan. Spread a thin layer of Dijon mustard on the bread and top with a layer of cheese, then flaked salmon, another layer of cheese then the other slice of bread. Cook until heated through and the cheese is fully melted, flipping once.