This recipe deserves a blue ribbon. Tender, sweet and hints of smoky cedar, the flavors were amazing. A nice change from our traditional way of grilling salmon.
Despite almost setting our deck on fire, our house smelled like a gourmet restaurant. You know the kind… those that have a wood-fired oven. The cedar planks were soaked for 2-3 hours, just as the recipe suggests. I even weighted them to stay submerged. However, by the end of the suggested grilling time, the edges of all the planks were smoldering, and soon, surrounded by large orange flames. I even tried using a water bottle to extinguish the flames, but it continued to grow out of control. The recipe says to let the salmon rest for 15 minutes on the plank once done grilling. Not the case for us. Jeff had to rescue the salmon from the fiery, wooden planks. Thankfully, we have a fire pit below our deck. That, a trusty set of tongs, and a brave husband, who quickly raced down the steps to drop the planks. The good news was we had about another half hour of nice smelling cedar to enjoy.
Some of the salmon pieces had just the right amount of char, others were not. Regardless, the recipe was a hit and the salmon was devoured.
Cedar Plank Salmon (grilled)
Adapted from Gourmet
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
2 tablespoons mild honey or pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon minced rosemary
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 (2-pounds) salmon fillet with skin (1 1/2 inches thick) – I use the skinless fillet from Costco, and cut them into individual slabs.
Equipment: a cedar grilling plank (about 15 by 6 inches) – I used a set of four planks.
Soak cedar grilling plank in water to cover 2 hours, keeping them immersed and ensuring a full soak. (Can soak longer – up to 24 hours.)
Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (medium-high heat for gas). Open vents on bottom and lid of charcoal grill.
Stir together mustard, honey, rosemary, zest, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Spread mixture on flesh side of salmon and let stand at room temperature 15 minutes.
Put salmon on plank, skin side down (if salmon is too wide for plank, fold in thinner side to fit). Grill, covered with lid, until salmon is just cooked through and edges are browned, 13 to 15 minutes. Let salmon stand on plank 5 minutes before serving.