Nate and I both love fish, but we rarely eat it at home. I’m such a compulsive frugal shopper, that sometimes it pains me to buy fish because it can be expensive compared to chicken or turkey. But, sometimes it’s okay to splurge. Today I splurged on salmon fillets, which I’ve been wanting to grill on our cedar planks for some time.
I thought I’d try something classic like dill and lemon so the flavor of the cedar could still shine through. Since I’ve never made this before, I googled the ingredients, and the first result that came up was my favorite place to search for classic recipes, Food and Wine. Perfect. It had everything I wanted in addition to a salt cure, followed by a sake marinade. The only down side of this recipe is how long you have to wait to eat it. The salmon should sit in the cure for 1.5 hours, and then in the sake for another hour. Add on another 25 minutes for cooking, plus 5 for resting…it’s far far too long. This is certainly a great recipe for a weekend (or a day off work) so you can get it started early. I didn’t get the cure going until about 6, and since we had to run some errands, I got the sake in there at about 8:30. Then I waited the next hour in agony, praying for time to go by faster so we could eat.
But it was more than worth the wait! The salmon literally melted in my mouth. It was so silky smooth and bursting with fresh flavors of the dill and lemon. I really wished I would have tried this while entertaining, but I suppose that gives me a good reason to make it again. Who wants to come over for dinner??
Cedar-Planked Salmon with Dill and Lemon
Source: Food and Wine
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/8 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup dill, chopped, plus 4 sprigs
zest of one lemon, plus 8 slices
4-8 oz salmon fillets, with skin
1 cup sake
1. Soak two cedar planks in water for 2 hours.
3. Rinse salmon and pat dry. Return fillets to shallow baking dish and cover with sake. Refrigerate for one hour, flipping salmon fillets after 30 minutes.
4. Light grill and cover for 10 minutes. Grill cedar planks until grill marks appear, about 30 seconds on each side.
5. Drain salmon and pat dry. Brush with olive oil and place two fillets on each cedar plank. Top each fillet with dill sprig and two lemon slices, and drizzle lightly with more olive oil.
6. Turn off half of the burners on the grill and set planks over indirect heat. You may need to cook them in two separate batches, depending on the size of your grill. Cover and grill the salmon for 25-30 minutes, rotating the planks halfway through. Tent with foil until ready to serve.