Thursday, September 9, 2021



I can still remember the first time I tasted cedar-planked salmon (in Nova Scotia) and what a wonderful experience that was.  In the years since, it’s become a summer favorite with various marinades (or even plain!), but this is the one we like best.  It’s very easy and always a hit. We associate it with meals outside with friends or family.  The key thing is to have food-grade cedar planks and soak them well before you start.  We can find cedar planks easily in grocery stores. Except for the fresh salmon, everything else is likely in your cupboard.


4-6 salmon fillets

¼ cup maple syrup

¼ cup grainy (old-fashioned) Dijon mustard

3 tablespoon cider vinegar

1 – 2 tsp coarse sea salt

It’s a good idea to have a spray bottle with clean water nearby, in case you get flames. There is a lot more control with a gas grill, but we always use charcoal.


Soak the cedar plants for at least two hours or longer. This will keep them from catching fire.  We use a roasting pan and place something heavy (a pot full of water) to keep them submerged.

Mix the maple syrup, Dijon, cider vinegar and salt.  


Place fillets in a resealable plastic bag or in a glass dish. Add marinade and mix to ensure good coverage.  Marinate for 20 minutes to fourhours.  

Place on soaked boards.  Cook on a gas or charcoal grill for about 20 minutes. We always use charcoal but it's still great on a gas grill. Fish cooked on boards may take a bit longer than in the oven or in a pan.  The boards may char and you might need to spray the wood if the fire is too hot. This isn't as much of a problem on a gas grill.

Transfer to a platter and enjoy!  

We certainly did on a beautiful late summer  evening outside. We served our salmon with fresh corn on the cob and a simple green salad.   What kind of sides would you pick?

 Mary Jane Maffini is the award-winning author of three and a half mystery series: the Camilla Maffini mysteries, the Fiona Silk capers and the Charlotte Adams organizer mysteries – number six coming soon! With her daughter Victoria Maffini, MJ collaborated on The Book Collector Mysteries as Victoria Abbott. Victoria Abbott spent several happy years on Mystery Lovers Kitchen. MJ  is very glad to be back and Victoria is waving at you all!

The first five Charlotte Adams are being reissued by Beyond the Page Publishing. Recipes have been added and of course, the organizing tips continue! The Charlotte Adams books have recently been optioned for television films.

Organize Your Corpses was re-released as an e-book and a trade paper on May 18. There's a great deal for the e-book.   You can order it HERE!

The Cluttered Corpse was reissued on June 15th and Death Loves a Messy Desk arrived on July 13th. 

Closet Confidential was out in August.



Jordan Bingham has a tough time: she's the first person in her large family to go straight. She has learned some useful skills from her crooked relatives but she's trying to hang on to a legit job working for a curmudgeonly book collector. But of course, the bodies keep piling up.  There's lots of fun in the book collector series from Victoria Abbott.

Don't forget to check out MJ's Canadian books:  Camilla MacPhee features a fortyish widowed lawyer who runs an advocacy agency for victims of violent crime, in Ottawa, Canada's capital city. Life would be easier if she didn't have the world's worst office assistant, the world's bossiest sisters and, arguably, the world's greatest stubborn streak. If you like your mysteries a bit edgy with a side order of humor, these could be for you.  

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  1. I have never tried the cedar planks but have always wanted to! You've given me a push. I also would serve corn on the cob and a salad.

    1. Let me know, Peg, if you like the results! Thanks.

  2. The marinade sound perfect, with or without a plank.
    What do you think the plank adds in flavor?

    1. Thanks, Libby! The planks add a woody aromatic element. It's hard to describe the taste but quite delish.

  3. I love salmon cooked on cedar planks and always have some on hand. I haven't ever tried a maple syrup marinade but am going to try this recipe.

    1. I am glad you came by, Renee! Let me know what you think about the marinade.

  4. I've had cedar planks sitting around for years. Thanks for the recipe that tells me how to use them, MJ.

    1. I'll be happy if you and your planks like the results, Maya!

  5. I got a cedar plank as a gift years ago and never knew how to use it. Thanks for the great instructions! I think I'd add a sliced tomato salad as a side.