Plank cooking is a technique that originated with the native Peoples of the Pacific Northwest. This cedar-planked salmon recipe is simple to make, uses only a few ingredients, but packs restaurant quality flavor into every single bite. The aromatic cedar planks imparted a subtle smoky flavor to the salmon and keeps it moist by protecting it from the flames. This technique works equally well with other types of fish, such as Halibut, as well as meat, poultry, and vegetables. Beside the wood flavor imparted by the plank, flavored butters add a tasty punch to the salmon. These flavored butters, also known as compound butters, are easy to make by blending herbs and spices into softened butter."We had some fresh, wild, Pacific salmon; we had some warm weather; we had a really great salmon dinner! I think salmon on a cider plank is one of the best ways to prepare salmon, the flavor is outstanding. This simple outdoor slow-cooking method produces salmon with firm, moist flesh and having a rich, smoky flavor. When available and despite it's extra cost, I prefer wild salmon which has a more mild and delicate flavor than that of farm raised." - sgrishka
Yield: 8 Servings Ready in 45 minutes
298 people trying soon
Verified by twojocks
|-- Roasted Garlic Butter (optional) --|
|2 tablespoonsOlive oil|
|1 cupUnsalted butter; at room temperature|
|-- Scallion Butter (optional) --|
|1 cupUnsalted butter; at room temperature|
|1/3 cupScallions; finely minced|
|1/4 teaspoonGarlic; finely minced|
|1 1/2 teaspoonsParsley; finely chopped|
|1 1/2 teaspoonsSoy sauce|
|1 1/2 teaspoonsLemon juice; freshly squeezed|
|-- Salmon --|
|2 Cedar planks; soaked in water overnight|
|1 Salmon fillet; (2 to 3 lbs), fresh or frozen* with skin removed|
|1 tablespoonSea salt|
|1 teaspoonFresh ground black pepper|
|2 tablespoonsButter; cut into small bits|
Cedar-Planked Salmon Preparation
*Note: To thaw, remove salmon from package while still frozen and place on plate in refrigerator at least 6 hours prior to cooking.
Soak large (about 14x7x1-inch) untreated cedar plank(s) in water for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight (you have to weight the planks with a heavy object in order to keep them submerged in the water).
To make (optional) Roasted Garlic Butter:
Place each head of garlic on a square of aluminum foil large enough to enclose the entire head. Drizzle with the oil, and season with salt. Wrap the garlic in the foil and seal closed to make pouches. Grill over indirect medium heat (or roast in a 400 degree F oven) until tender and any juices that escape are deep brown, about 30 to 40 minutes. Let the garlic cool. Squeeze the roasted cloves from the papery skins, and mash to a paste. Blend with the butter; pipe, shape, or store as desired in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days or the freezer for up to 3 weeks. Makes 1 cup.
To make (optional) Scallion Butter:
Blend all the ingredients together; pipe, shape, or store as desired in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days or the freezer for up to 3 weeks. Makes 1 cup.
To make Cedar-Planked Salmon:
Preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat, approximately 425 degrees F. If you are using a charcoal grill, build a fire and let it burn down until the coals are glowing red with a light coating of white ash. Spread the coals in an even bed. Clean the cooking grate.
Clean, dry and trim the salmon. Check for bones and use clean needle-nose pliers to remove any you find. Cut the salmon into 8 equal pieces. Salt and pepper to taste. Spread a little brown sugar evenly over the top and dot with little chunks of butter, use more or less to your taste.
When grill comes to heat, remove soaking cedar planks from their water bath and shake dry. Place soaked planks in the center of the heated grill to pre-heat for about 5-10 minutes with lid closed, or until they begin to crackle and smoke. This will lightly toast the wood and a distinct smell of cedar will be evident evident. Open the grill and quickly brust the top surface of heated planks with a thin coating of olive oil, being careful not to drip oil down the sides. Place 4 prepared salmon fillets on top of each pre-heated and oiled cedar plank. Close grill lid and cook at 425 degrees F until just cooked through, about 20-30 minutes (cooking time varies depending on the thickness of the fillet), or until the internal temperature of the fillet reaches 135 degrees F. Do not turn the salmon, and be careful not to overcook. When done, the fish should be moist, opaque and flaking easily in the middle.
Check flame level periodically to make sure the planks do not ignite. Have a spray bottle of water on hand to spritz planks in case they do, but it is much less likely to happen if they have been well soaked beforehand.
When done, carefully remove the hot planked salmon from grill and place onto a heatproof platter or trivet on your table, serve directly from the plank.
Serve the salmon with your favorite compound butter and freshly squeezed lemon juice, if desired. Enjoy!
Makes 8 servings.
Soak the planks in cold water overnight to keep them from smoldering or catching fire while on the grill. For variety, use hickory, mesquite, or even fruit tree wood, like apple or cherry. Wooden planks for grilling can be found at most specialty kitchen stores, gourmet food shops, and lumberyards (just make sure the lumber hasn't been treated with preservatives or other chemicals). Planks are inexpensive and while they don't last forever, you should be able to get more than one cooking session from them before becoming excessively charred.
Salmon cooks in minutes. A small cut in the thickest part of the meat shows it is done when it flakes easily and appears opaque throughout. Do not overcook because the salmon will continue to cook for a short time after the fish is removed from the heat source.
Compound butter can be handled in a number of different ways once it is blended. Simply pack it into a small crock or bowl to use as a spread, or pipe the butter into rosettes (about one tablespoon each) onto a lined plate or baking sheet, then refrigerate or freeze the rosettes until firm. One efficient option is to shape the butter into a cylinder. Cut a large sheet of plastic wrap. Mound the butter about three inches away from one of the long sides of the wrap. Fold the plastic wrap over the mound and then tighten the wrap around the butter. Use a straight edge, such as a ruler, to tighten the cylinder to keep the diameter of the log even. Once rolled, twist the ends to press out any remaining air pockets and seal the wrap around the butter. Chill the butter until it is firm enough to slice.
This dish is great serve with your favorite grilled vegetables (marinated in red wine vinegar and herbs of your choice) and grilled pineapple rubbed with coconut and brown sugar.
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