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Cedar Planked Salmon with Pineapple Salsa

Cedar planks give this salmon recipe an irresistible flavor and aroma, and the pineapple salsa makes for a light and refreshing garnish for a quick and easy dinner on the grill.

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!

Pineapple Salsa

  • 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

Method: 

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. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Robert E. Moreillon June 07, 2012 at 04:10 PM
While you are wandering through the so-called Farmer's Market, remember that most of the fresh food you see is available from our familiar local stores like Hillers who are struggling to stay in business. When you look at the corn, tomatoes and potatoes, ask yourself if any of these are being harvested already at local farms. The answer is no, they were purchased at the big produce centers in Detroit and brought out here to be sold. I'm certainly in favor of helping legitimate farmers made a living, but I'm more in favor of helping our legitimate and long-tyime favorite food stores stay in business all year long to provide us with the best and freshest products.
Stacy Sloan June 07, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Hi, Robert, thank you for the post and for reading the column. I might be taking this the wrong way, but it sounds like you're attacking me for supporting the Farmers' Market. I'm a member of the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce and am working to support the community. I hope you aren't implying that the Farmers' Market cooking demos are not a worthwhile project. While there are some vendors at the Farmers' Market who do not grow their own produce, there are many who do, and I am proud to call those folks my friends. Your comment about the "so-called" Farmers' Market is an unfair jab at those farmers and gardeners who, like Hiller's and several other local food establishments, are working to make a living. Hiller's isn't exactly growing their own produce, and like the unnamed folks at the Plymouth Market who are a source of consternation to you, & they're buying their produce from "the terminal" as well. Regardless of whether or not you feel they have the right to sell their items at the market, they do employ people, which helps us all. Someone working their butt off to make their business succeed deserves every legal and ethical opportunity they can find in order to make it - that's what makes our system great. The marketplace decides whose businesses are viable and whose are not. Whether it's Hiller's or anyone else, everyone has a right to compete.
Culinary Enthusiast June 07, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Kaboom!

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