This summer, I'm coordinating the Chef-led cooking demos for the Plymouth Farmers' Market. The demos take place at 10 a.m. on the third Saturday of the month, on Penniman Avenue in downtown Plymouth. Each month, a new chef will demonstrate a recipe or two, provide recipes, and answer questions from the audience about how to cook like a pro.
Last month, Chef Reva Constantine of Joe's Produce Gourmet Market, featured a salmon recipe that was a big hit with the audience - Cedar Planked Salmon.
Cedar planks aren't a new trend, but, they've not necessarily caught on like "wildfire", pardon the pun. Though the flavor and aroma that the planks contribute to the salmon is irresistible, many people are intimidated by using the planks, for fear that they might end up with a carbon-charred mess, rather than a wonderfully smokey salmon steak.
The key to keeping your dinner from going up in flames, the plank needs to be soaked in water prior to placing it on the grill. After the plank has had time to soak, the salmon can be placed on the top of the plank, and then placed on the grill.
The salmon can be marinated, or simply seasoned with salt and pepper before placing on the soaked plank. Chef reva used a sprinkling of brown sugar and black pepper as a topping for her salmon, which has become my new favorite way to prepare salmon on the grill.
To recreate Chef Reva's recipe at home, here are the easy steps you'll want to follow -
Chef Reva used pre-soaked cedar planks from Joe's Meat & Seafood, but if you're using your own planks, be sure you remember to soak them first. While you're waiting for the planks to soak, clean and preheat your grill.
Prepare the pineapple salsa using the recipe below. Set aside at room temperature to allow the flavors to blend together.
When the grill is hot, sprinkle a small amount (about 2 Tb. of brown sugar on top of each piece of salmon, and some freshly cracked black pepper). Place the salmon on top of the prepared planks and place them on the grill.
Close the grill and allow the salmon to cook to desired doneness. The time will vary depending on the thickness of the salmon filet. Remove the salmon from the grill and discard the cedar plank. Serve the salmon with the pineapple salsa. Enjoy!
- 1 pineapple, cleaned and cored, cut into medium dice
- 1/2 small red onion, diced
- 3 scallions, light green parts only, sliced
- 1 small jalapeno, minced
- juice of 1 lime
- zest of 1 lime
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp. honey, or to taste
Mix all of the ingredients together and adjust the seasonings to taste. Allow to rest for about 30 minutes at room temperature to allow the flavors to meld.