Saturday, June 8, 2013

Cedar-Planked Maple Salmon

Before we begin, congrats to our wonderful friends Krista, Peg and Sheila who all have new books out this week! What a bonanza for MLK and for all us readers.

From Victoria Abbott: It’s here! Never mind the rain or the mosquito hordes, it’s officially grilling season  in Eastern Ontario.  Of course, many of us grill all year long, snow and ice and all, but there’s something special about firing up the coals when you can actually sit outside to eat the glorious results. All right, we're safe in the screened porch, but officially outside!
We’ve always loved salmon on the grill and now we love it even more.  One of the best recipes we’ve found is this one: Cedar-Planked Maple Salmon. 

 It even passed the Italian mother-in-law/grandmother test and that's not easy.
What else can we say?

If you’re planning to make it, be sure to soak the plank in advance, overnight if you can.

Cedar-Planked Maple Salmon

1 untreated cedar plank (we can buy them in the fish section of the grocery store).  
4 salmon fillets, all about the same thickness (or one large fillet enough to feed four)
¼ cup pure maple syrup
2 tbsp grainy mustard
¼ tsp sea salt (or to taste)
Olive oil

Directions: Place the plank in a roasting pan or the sink if it will fit. 


Cover with warm water and soak at least one hour, but preferably over night. If it floats, and it probably will, weigh it down with a heavy pot.

Mix the maple syrup, mustard and salt together. Pour into a plastic freezer bag.  Add the fillets and mix around to cover. 

Lay flat in the refrigerator and marinate overnight if you can or at least a couple of hours.

To grill: heat your grill to high (about 400).

 Place cedar plank on grill rack and heat for a few minutes. 

Brush with olive oil.   

Place the fillets on the plank and cook for about 20 minutes.

Keep a spray bottle handy in case there’s a flare-up.
A flare-up would have made a dramatic picture, but we didn’t have one this time.  You may need to reduce the heat to medium-low.

Remove the fish from plank to plate or serve from a platter.  In fact, the plank makes a rustic server if you have a heat-proof surface to serve from. We didn’t think our glass-top table would survive.

We liked this so much, it will become our go-to dish for summer dinner guests. We served it with tangy potato salad and red and green leaf lettuce salad.

If you try it, we'd love to know if it passes the YOU test!  Have fun and don't forget the spray bottle.

Victoria Abbott is a collaboration between Victoria Maffini and her mother,  Mary Jane Maffini. The Christie Curse, their first book collector mystery, launched in March 2013 and  The Sayers Swindle, the second in the series will be out in December. Please let them know how you like it! 

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  1. Thank you ! Looks absolutely delicious and the step by step shots show the process as so doable . . .

    @9freshmangos ~

  2. Thanks! It is so easy. If you give it a try please let us know.

    Victoria (aka MJ and Victoria)

  3. OH, WONDERFUL! Thank you so much for the step-by-step photos, MJ. I've never done fish like this on the grill, but you've made it look so easy, and that salmon looks amazing--what a perfect summer dinner. Must share this on FB...have a great weekend!

    ~ Cleo

    P.S. Buongiorno to your adorable mamma-in-law!

  4. I love grilled salmon. That's on my menu for tonight. Perfect timing!!

    Loved the Christie Curse. Fun read!


    Daryl / Avery

    1. Thanks, Daryl - and congrats again on your new book. I can't wait to read it.

  5. Thanks, Cleo. It is really easy, but you can't tell. We will pass on your greetings to my MIL - who was one of the world's best cooks until she decided to let other people take care of that. She's almost 91.

    MJ and Victoria

  6. I've always wanted to try this! Since the board needs soaking and the salmon marinating, I'll put it on the menu for tomorrow night! Can the board be reused? I've seen the planks in the grocery store. I wonder about doing other fish/meat on the planks? Thanks for a great step-by-step on this!

    1. Our boards are always really charred by the time we're finished, Peg. But it might depend on your type of grill.

      Hope it works for you.

      Congrats on the new book!

  7. I have a bunch of catfish fillets in the frig for dinner tonight, so I just might try them this way.

    1. I'd love to hear how the catfish fillets turn out!

      Thanks for that idea.


      MJ and Victoria

  8. Your mother-in-law is 91? Wow. I'd like some of those genes. She's beautiful!

    I'm very glad to see this. I think about trying it every summer but never do. I'm glad you mentioned weighting down the plank. And I'm so excited that it's potato salad season again! Must make some right now!


  9. Thanks, Krista. I'll pass on that message too. I put it off because I couldn't find the sprayer after we moved, but now ...

    And potato salad is truly a great food!