performed a stunt he called "Dead Guy" for a cable TV show. I am speaking of the magical art of cooking salmon on a cedar plank. This style of cooking dates back to the Northwest Native Americans. They would tie fish and game to large Western Red Cedar or Alder planks. This cooking procedure was done out of the necessity for a cooking surface.
I stumbled upon this recipe several years ago on Epicurious and
decided to invest in a plank. I found one at a local cooking store. You an also buy them online at Amazon or William Sonoma.
Also this recipe works without the plank, just roasted on a baking sheet atop the bed of green onions.
I have made this recipe countless times for guests and I always get RAVE reviews. It's just an absolutely fabulous sauce, and the cedar makes the kitchen smell heavenly, enticing everyone's appetite. The fillets are just so moist, so tender, so deliciously fragrant, all
infused with that delicate sweet and smoky aroma
I catered a dinner party this past Friday and chose this recipe along with mustard mashed potatoes which complement the salmon perfectly. The best part of all it's super easy yet elegant!
Cedar Planked Salmon with Maple Glaze
1 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons finely grated peeled fresh ginger root
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
an untreated cedar plank (about 17 by 10 1/2 inches by 2 )
a 2 1/2-pound center-cut salmon fillet with skin on
greens from 1 bunch scallions
In a small heavy saucepan simmer maple syrup, ginger root,
lemon juice, soy sauce, garlic, and salt and pepper to
taste until reduced to about 1 cup, about 30 minutes, and let cool.
(Maple glaze may be made 2 days ahead and chilled, covered. Bring
maple glaze to room temperature before proceeding.)
Preheat oven to 350° F. If using cedar plank, lightly oil and heat in middle of oven 15 minutes; or lightly oil a shallow baking pan large enough to hold salmon.
Arrange scallion greens in one layer on plank or in baking pan to form a bed for fish.
In another small saucepan heat half of glaze over low heat until
heated through to use as a sauce.
Remove pan from heat and keep sauce warm, covered.
Put salmon, skin side down, on scallion greens and brush with
remaining glaze. Season salmon with salt and pepper and roast in
middle of oven until just cooked through, about 20 minutes if using
baking pan or about 35 if using plank.
Cut salmon crosswise into 6 pieces. On each of 6 plates arrange salmon and scallion greens on a bed of mashed potatoes. Drizzle salmon with warm sauce.
Mustard Mashed Potatoes
3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons whole-grain or coarse-grain mustard
In a 5-quart kettle cover potatoes with cold salted water by 2 inches and simmer until tender, 35 to 45 minutes. While potatoes are simmering, in a small saucepan heat milk with butter over moderate heat until butter is melted. Remove pan from heat and keep milk mixture warm, covered.
In a colander drain potatoes and cool just until they can be handled. Peel potatoes, transferring to a large bowl. Add mustard, salt and pepper to taste, and three fourths hot milk mixture and with potato masher mash potatoes until smooth, adding more milk mixture if necessary. (Potatoes can be made ahead and
cooled completely before being chilled in a buttered ovenproof dish,
covered. Bring potatoes to room temperature before reheating,