Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Dinner Party - Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon

This evening, I held a dinner party for 12. It was fun to have so many friends over to share a meal and chat. This dinner was loosely themed around the food featured in the book Snow Falling On Cedars. If you haven't read it, don't bother.  This book takes place in the Pacific Northwest in a fishing village that is also filled with strawberry farmers.  The main character is Japanese. With the help of my friends, we decided to make a Japanese and Strawberry inspired feast.

Because there were 12 people around I did not take any pictures (oh but look! Someone else did), instead I will do a series called "A Dinner Party" for each piece of the meal.

Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon

I've cooked fish at home maybe twice ever. Joey does NOT eat fish. He doesn't like the smell the look the presence at all. As a result, I keep it out of the house and eat it at lunch. I also generally prefer my fish in shells or raw (or both, oysters!) so I've never really made salmon before.However, I bought a large filet at Costco, and read that the easiest way to cook it was on cedar planks. I chose this method because otherwise you have to well-oil your grill (I am notorious for getting food stuck or falling into the grill) and then flipping the fish is hard and you are supposed to leave the skin on and my fish came without skin. To make cedar plank salmon do this:

Serves 9-12
2 Cedar Planks
2 1/2 lbs salmon filet (costco!)
juice of one lemon
2 T olive oil

Go to the grocery store and look for cedar planks somewhere near the charcoal section. I found two for about $3. You can reuse your planks at least 2-3 times before retiring them unless you set them on fire...

At least 2 hours before dinner, start soaking the cedar planks submerged in water. If you choose the weigh them down with a can of tomatoes for instance, be sure to note that they will leave a mark on the wood. Choose something heavy that isn't metal if that bothers you.

Heat the Gas grill (okay you can use whatever kind, but you need to have a cool side of the grill). You want the grill to be about 350 when cooking.

Place the fish on the wet planks. Sprinkle with salt.  Place the planks on indirect heat (I turned off two burners and left on one to get this effect). Occasionally brush with olive oil and lemon juice to keep the fish moist

Keep the lid closed as much as you can and cook about 20 minutes until fish is opaque and flaky. Taste a little and see if it is right for you around 20 minutes--this all depends on the thickness of your filet.

No comments: