I have a secret to share. Andrew and I both love fish but have never made it at home before. Can you believe it? Well, we were feeling ambitious last night and decided to try making grilled salmon. Turns out it was super simple to make!
A friend recommended we use a grilling plank because it gives the fish great flavor so we bought Fire & Flavor Cedar Wood Grilling Planks. You can find these by the meat counter at Festival Foods. They are sold in a pack of 2 and you can use each one about 2-3 times before throwing away so you get a few meals out of them. They are perfect for cooking beef, pork, chicken, salmon, and other seafood so you aren’t limited to any one item.
The tricky part is planning ahead. You need to soak the plank in water for about 1-2 hours before using. Luckily we planned ahead! I’ve heard you can also soak the plank in red wine before using but that’s an experiment for another time 🙂 I started filling the kitchen sink with water but realized the plank was too large to fit so I suggest using a rimmed sheet pan instead. Once the plank was sitting in water I filled a drinking glass about ½ way with water and set it on top of the plank. This prevented the plank from floating and kept it submerged.
When the plank was finished soaking I preheated the grill to 350 degrees and started prepping the salmon. I purchased a 1 lb Atlantic Salmon Filet from the meat counter to use. I sprinkled fresh dill on top and added lemon slices.
Once the grill was preheated I placed the plank on the grate so it could heat for about 3 minutes. When ready, the salmon was added to the top. This amount of fish took about 30-40 minutes to cook. One thing I would not recommend is setting your plank on fire like I did 🙂 I blame it on first time experience but you could say it was quite surprising to open the grill cover and see flames! Don’t worry the fish was fine!
I also made potatoes to have as a side dish. I chose the Dynamic Duo by the Little Potato Company. These are very easy to make and quite convenient because you don’t have to do a lot of work. The Dynamic Duo is a combination of red and yellow potatoes but other varieties are available. I tossed the potatoes in olive oil and sprinkled Jane’s Krazy Mixed-Up Original Salt on top. Then put them in a foil packet and set on the grill. The potatoes took about 30 minutes to cook.
While the salmon and potatoes were cooking I made cocktails! You can’t grill on a hot day without some kind of beverage in your hand. It might even be grilling law (wink wink). You could easily pair this meal with your favorite bottle of wine but I wanted something a bit different. I attempted to make a homemade version of a drink I recently had but didn’t have directions so I needed to get creative. I call it a Citrus Squeeze and here’s how you make it:
- Gin or Vodka
- Mint Leaves
- Tonic Water
Fill a glass with ice. Add 1 shot of gin and a few mint leaves. Slice the orange, lemon, and lime into wedges. Squeeze the juice from 2 wedges of each into the glass. Fill the remainder of the glass with tonic water. Mix together and enjoy.
It was citrusy and delicious! Very crisp and refreshing, and it paired well with the salmon. I prefer gin in my drinks but I also made a version with vodka for Andrew. Both tasted great. The nice thing about this recipe is you can play around with the amount of each item you add. If you prefer more of one flavor then squeeze a 3rd wedge in the glass or simply leave out an ingredient you don’t care for. If you want to be a little fancy you can also use leftover wedges as garnish on your glass.
After drinks were made it was time to take the potatoes and salmon off the grill and plate our food. The potatoes were soft and tender and had great flavor from the added seasoning. The salmon had a slight smoky flavor from the plank but also a hint of the dill and lemon. It was a delicious meal!
For dessert we had Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting from Taste of Scandinavia. Our dog, Bear, was hoping for some of my pumpkin bar but I gave him a bite of salmon instead! I think he approved 🙂
Cheers and happy cooking!