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Cedar Planked Salmon with Apricot & Jalapeno Glaze

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Cedar Planked Salmon

I had an adventure yesterday afternoon. I’ll admit that I was a little jittery and nervous to start with, but it turned out to be a fun little thrill and I can’t wait to try it again sometime soon! It’s exciting to dabble in risky behavior, right? Face your fears head on? Step out of your comfort zone and learn something new? You’re probably picturing me skydiving out of an airplane or surfing the treacherous waters of Lake Michigan or tearing around the neighborhood on my punk’s Ripstick – and I’m laughing my fool head off right now because that’s not the kind of daredevilish tomfoolery I’m talking about here.

No siree’bob, none of that. Are you ready?!

I taught myself …(wait for it)… HOW TO COOK SALMON ON A CEDAR PLANK.

CRAZY, right?! I KNOW!! Wheeeeee!

I’ve been meaning to give cedar planks a try for years, but I’ve always been intimidated by them – worried it won’t turn out, worried I’ll have a MacGruber moment and blow up my grill (and my face) – and even worse still, wreck dinner at the same time.

None of that happened yesterday. Dinner was served. It was delicious. And I lived to tell about it.

Read on for complete instructions! Happy Wednesday!

The only thing you absolutely MUST do is have a little forethought when it comes to cedar-plank grilling. You must soak the planks for a minimum of three hours prior to placing them on the grill. I filled half of my kitchen sink with warm water, plopped in the planks, weighed them down with a heavy stock pot, and soaked them for four hours. When I was ready to grill, I took them out and patted them dry with a dish towel.

CEDAR PLANKED SALMON WITH APRICOT & JALAPENO GLAZE
Serves: 4
Source: foodnetwork.com

  • 1 T. vegetable oil
  • 2 jalapenos, cut into rings (*see note*)
  • 1 T. garlic, minced
  • ½ c. white wine
  • 3 T. whole grain mustard
  • 1 c. apricot preserves
  • 2 cedar planks, soaked for a minimum of three hours
  • 4 – 6 oz. salmon steaks, bones removed, steaks patted dry (Salmon steaks are on sale this week, 5/19/10 – 5/25/10*)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Vegetable oil, a barbecue brush, and a long metal skewer
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, plus additional for garnish
  • 8 lemon slices, plus additional for garnish

Heat the vegetable oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. When oil is hot, add the jalapenos and sauté them until they begin to caramelize, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and stir; add the wine to the pan before the garlic begins to brown. Bring to a boil and cook until wine is reduced by half, about three minutes. Add the mustard and preserves and bring to a simmer. Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and allow to cool completely.

Preheat grill to high for 15 minutes. Place the cedar planks on the grill and reduce heat to medium high. Close the lid and heat the planks for 10 minutes. You’ll start to hear some popping and the planks will begin to smoke. This is okay!

Meanwhile, season the salmon steaks with salt and pepper and brush both sides of steaks liberally with the apricot glaze. Set aside.

Open the grill lid and brush the tops of the planks with vegetable oil. Place the salmon steaks on the planks; top each steak with a lemon slice or two, and a rosemary sprig. Close the lid and grill the salmon for 15 minutes.

To check for doneness, insert a metal skewer horizontally into the thickest part of the salmon steak; leave it there for 10 seconds. Remove the skewer and touch the tip of the skewer to the top of your top lip. It should feel very hot. Your salmon is done!

Garnish salmon with additional rosemary sprigs and lemon slices, and serve!

*NOTES* Leave the seeds and ribs in if you’re feeling extra brave. I talk a big game and in retrospect, I was not feeling quite brave enough. I took out the seeds and sadly, my glaze lacked the heat I had hoped for, my bad!! I’m a big chicken after all.

Also, j2luk (that’s, ‘just 2 let u know’ in teenage speak): Salmon steaks have more bones than I’m used to. You could easily swap in salmon fillets if you’re not in to picking out the bones. :-)

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Leah Damron is an avid home cook who believes in using the freshest ingredients available, and she challenges herself weekly to create meals out of (mostly!) sale items. If Sendik's ever gave a title for "Biggest Fan", she believes she would win, hands down. Leah lives in greater Milwaukee with her husband, three children, and her big black lab, Daisy."

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