Be on board for this salmon….

19 Apr

You either love salmon or you don’t. If you fall into that first category – too bad, because not only is salmon good for you, there are endless ways to prepare it. I found this recipe for planked salmon in the Chicago Cubs Cookbook (2010). Contributor was Pat Hughes, the radio play-by-play announcer for the Chicago Cubs. And how did I, an ardent Minnesota Twins fan, end up with a Chicago Cubs Cookbook? I love the Havana Dream Pie served at Joe’s Stone Crab in Chicago – and discovered the recipe for that sumptuous dessert is in the book! (Let me know if you want that recipe).

If you have never prepared salmon this way, you’re in for a treat. Easy to do and the end result is something quite special. As always, follow directions. Soaking those planks is mandatory! I cut-up a whole Costco salmon into individual filets and freeze them. That way I can take out as many as I need – when I need it.

 Caramelized Plank Salmon

1 or more cedar planks (about the same size of the filet(s)

1½ pounds fresh salmon filet, skin on (I usually use the skinless filets)

Olive oil

½ fresh lemon

Fresh mixed peppercorn blend or seasoned pepper blend

6 fresh garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped

½ tablespoon brown sugar (packed)

Prepare the cedar plank for grilling. Completely submerge plank in cold water for at least 1 hour, preferably longer. (If you don’t follow this step, the plank will burn.) When the plank is prepared correctly, the salmon will pick up a subtle cedar flavor. You can find planks at most grocery stores.

Brush the top of the filet with olive oil, squeeze lemon over the top, then sprinkle the freshly ground peppercorns over to fish to taste. Next, evenly sprinkle the freshly ground peppercorns over the filet, to taste. Next, evenly sprinkle on the fresh garlic. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top. Once the grill is ready, place the prepared filet(s) skin side down on the plank. Place plank directly on the grill grate. Cover grill and cook until the fish opaque throughout and flakes when tested with a fork, about 8-10 minutes. Don’t worry if the plank is slightly charred.

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