Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Planked salmon

I was lucky enough to have Friday dinner over at my friends who live in Summerland on the Okanagan lake.  It was a beautiful evening and we sat outside catching up and enjoying a glass of wine or two with Pat while her husband prepared dinner. The light on the hills behind their house was spectacular and I could not help but take some photographs.

My friend had picked up a beautiful fillet of sockeye salmon for dinner and her husband was going to cook it on the barbecue on a cedar plank.  He did this differently than I have in the passed, so I was interested to see how it turned out.

First he soaked the plank in water for about an hour then placed the fish on top and topped it with some lemon and capers.

Then he pre-heated the grill to 350 and placed the salmon on the top rack.  In the past I have always placed it on the bottom rack, which chars the plank and gives the salmon a smokey flavour.  But in cooking it further from the coals the plank will live to be used another day.

This cooked with the lid down for 20 minutes.  One of party was adamant that she wanted hers cooked through, no sushi salmon for her.  I am happy to have mine a little underdone and have a horror of overcooked salmon.  Any way 20 minutes appears to have the narrow end of the fish cooked thoroughly while the thicker end a little less.

We had this with some local asparagus stir fried with some olive oil and slivered almonds fresh spinach quickly cooked and some fresh whole wheat bread.  My salmon (from the thicker end) was beautifully cooked and still moist.

When you have lovely fresh ingredients like this it is best to keep it simple and let the flavours speak for themselves, ask the Italians.  Cooking the salmon on the soaked plank, kept the salmon from drying out, and this way though you do not get the smokey flavour the fish was cooked to perfection and needed nothing but a further spritz of lemon.

Though the food was secondary to getting together with old friends, as any body that knows me will  tell you the food is always important, so thank you Ken for a wonderful meal on the deck, and I am looking forward to more this summer.

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