Monday, January 19, 2015

Cedar Planked Salmon with Vinaigrette

Cedar Planked Salmon with Vinaigrette 
Serves: 4-6
Difficulty: Easy
Cedar Planked Salmon with Vinaigrette 
How many times have you walked by those cedar planks at the grocer, but then hesitated.  Next time grab the planks and give it a go  I have posted many fish recipes, many salmon recipes and many methods: grilled, poached, baked, sautéed and smoked.  This is a classic BBQ method maximizing the smoky sweetness of the cedar into the fish.  It will become a classic in your home as well.
The fixins'
  • Cedar plank large enough to hold your fish
  • 1 Tb sea salt
  • 2 Tb vegetable oil
  • 1 Tb soy sauce
  • 3 Tb, choice of white wine, bourbon or whiskey
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • 1 Tb brown sugar
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 lb. salmon fillet
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Rinse plank. Fill container with water – one large enough to fit the plank (a pan, sink or heavy food-safe plastic bag will work). Adding 1 Tb sea salt to the water improves the flavor. For variation, use dry white wine, apple cider, citrus or berry juice. Submerge the plank for at least 20 minutes and as long as 4 hours. Soaking the plank helps mellow wood flavors, adds moisture and resists burning while on the grill. Starting with hot water will shorten the soaking time.

Combine all liquid and dry ingredients in a bowl reserving lemon juice for use later. Blend and set marinade aside.
Prepare the marinade and then let it sit while prepping the fish
Remove any pin bones from salmon. Leave whole or cut into individual servings. Place into a shallow dish, add marinade and turn to coat. Cover and let sit 20 minutes.
Beautiful salmon...but pull out those pin bones on the top edge!
In the marinade
Prepare the BBQ. It is ready for use when the temperature is about medium-high or about 425 degree F. At this temperature, the grilling planks should give off a medium-to-light smoke.  Place the soaked plank onto the grill and close the lid. You can give it a couple sprays of water to keep it moist. Within a few minutes, the plank will begin to smoke and crackle. 
Heating the plank....don't be afraid to wet the top to prevent premature flaming
Carefully lift the lid of BBQ, and place the salmon, skin down, on plank. Reserve marinade.  Close the lid and let hot smoke for 8-10 minutes or until done. It is always a good idea to keep a spray bottle of water nearby to keep the plank moist; you want it to smoke, not burn. If the plank gets too hot, it will begin to flame.

Nearly done. Despite best efforts, the board is charred....that's ok, just don't let it engulf the fish

To make the glaze, transfer the reserved marinade to a small saucepan. Gently simmer on stovetop till reduced by half.  Remove from heat and add lemon juice.  Brush or drizzle onto salmon before serving.
Making the glaze
After the plank finally chars and blisters, crumble it into the bottom of the BBQ and reuse as smoking chips.  They are great with vegetables.

Bon Appetit!


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