Tag Archives: salmon

Cedar planked salmon: the Pacific Northwest on a plate

Cedar planked salmon & fennel
Cedar planked salmon & fennel

A trip to the Pacific Northwest inspired this dish. It’s hard to ignore the glistening salmon, the allure of the sea and the moist forest scents of cedar. The forests and rivers provided the ingredients for this dish, common to the Native American cultures of the Salish Sea. Here it’s fused with ginger from the east captured in English inspired preserves. Most grocers sell ginger preserves, and it’s available through mail order.

ginger preserves
ginger preserves
pure apple cider
pure apple cider

The rich oils of wild salmon are excellent for absorbing flavors, and the aromatic wood pairs well with the tangy sweetness of the ginger and lemon. The slow caramelizing with sweet onion enhances the anise flavor of fresh fennel. The apple cider syrup napping the vegetables compliments the ginger glaze on the fish.

Cedar planks for cooking are available from kitchen supply stores, upscale grocers and by mail order. Never use cedar that has been treated for construction. Follow the instructions for soaking the cedar plank before proceeding with cooking.

 

cedar plant soaking in apple cider
cedar plant soaking in apple cider

 

Ginger Glazed Cedar Planked Salmon & Cider Glazed Caramelized Fennel 

Ingredients for the cedar plank:

  • 1 cedar plank
  • 3 to 4 cups apple cider (water or wine may be substituted).

Preparation:

Two hours before grilling, place the cedar plank in a roasting pan large enough to fit.

  1. Pour the apple cider over the plank and soak, turning once. Soak for two hours.
fresh fennel
fresh fennel

Ingredients for the fennel and sweet onion:

  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup simmering water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. Cut stalks off fennel bulb. Remove and reserve fronds, discard the stalks. Slice bulb into 4 to 6 slices.
  2. Peel and slice the onion into 4 to 6 slices.
  3. Melt the butter in a 12-inch sauté pan, or one large enough to fit the fennel and onions in a single layer.
  4. Arrange the fennel and onions on top of the melted butter.
  5. Add the simmering water and cover. Reduce heat and gently steam for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the lid and cook an additional 15 minutes allowing the water to evaporate and the vegetables to lightly brown. Turn at least once.
salmon ready for the grill
salmon ready for the grill

Ingredients for the salmon

  • 1 pound wild caught salmon fillet, ideally with the skin on
  • olive oil to coat
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons ginger preserves

Preparation:

  1. Heat a gas or charcoal grill to about 350ºF or a medium heat-setting.
  2. Remove the plank from the apple cider and place it on a baking sheet. Reserve the apple cider for the fennel glaze.
  3. Place the salmon fillet, skin side down, onto the plank. Lightly coat the top of the salmon with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Mix the lemon juice and zest into the ginger preserves and spoon over the salmon.
  5. Place the cedar plank on the grill and cover the grill. Cook for 12 to 18 minutes. The salmon is done when it is uniformly pink in the center.
grilled salmon
grilled salmon

Preparation for the fennel’s cider glaze:

  1. reduced cider
    reduced cider

    While salmon is grilling, pour the reserved apple cider into a sauce pan and reduce over high heat until it’s a light syrup, about a 75 percent reduction.

 

Plate the salmon and fennel:

  1. When the salmon’s cooked, remove the plank to a cutting board. Slice the fillet into three portions and, using a thin spatula, separate the skin from the fillet.
  2. Arrange on plates with the fennel and onion. Drizzle the apple cider syrup over the fennel and decorate the dish with chopped fennel fronds.

Usually cedar planks can be re-used once or twice until they become overly charred, cracked or impossible to clean. Clean under hot running water – do not use detergent – scrubbing off the skin and loose ash. Allow to dry on a rack and store with the grill.

Mount Shuksan, North Cascades National Park, Washington
Mount Shuksan, North Cascades National Park, Washington

 

You can read more articles by Marc d’Entremont at:

Hellenic News of America

Original World Insights

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A surprise pairing: vanilla, pineapple, salmon, scallops

Sautéed salmon and scallops with caramelized pineapple and vanilla sauce
Sautéed salmon and scallops with caramelized pineapple and vanilla sauce

Vanilla sauce and pineapple certainly don’t seem like they ought to pair with fish and seafood. Yet this savory sauce along with caramelized fresh pineapple accent the natural sweet notes of salmon and scallops in surprising ways. Just as in desserts, the vanilla highlights the natural flavors of this dish.

As a chef I enjoy playing with food especially deconstructing dishes I’ve enjoyed in restaurants. The recipe I’ve created for this dish was inspired by several variations of these four ingredients over the years. For this dish please resist substitutions.

vanilla bean
vanilla bean

Vanilla extract will be too intense whereas the natural bean provides a subtle essence of vanilla. Sweet unsalted butter will coat your mouth with flavors in a way oil will not. Canned pineapple is too wet to properly caramelize; seek out a ripe fresh fruit.

Sautéed salmon and scallops with caramelized pineapple and vanilla sauce

wild salmon fillets over fresh tarragon
wild salmon fillets over fresh tarragon

Ingredients for two generous servings

  • 2 six ounce wild salmon fillets with skin
  • 6 sea scallops, approximately ½ pound
  • 3 one inch thick slices of fresh pineapple, skin removed
  • 7 tablespoons sweet butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves
  • kosher salt and white pepper to taste
vanilla bean infusing wine
vanilla bean infusing wine

Ingredients for the sauce

  • 1 whole vanilla bean
  • 1/3rd cup (5 ounces) white wine
  • 2 tablespoons grated sweet onion
  • 2 tablespoons sweet butter
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch dissolved in 2 tablespoons white wine
  • kosher salt and white pepper to taste

Preparation

Place one large cast iron pan and two medium size cast iron or heavy stainless steel sauté pans into a cold oven and preheat the oven to 425° F.

pineapple caramelizing
pineapple caramelizing

For the salmon, scallops and pineapple

  1. Lightly season the salmon on both sides with kosher salt and white pepper.
  2. Dry the sea scallops with paper towel.
  3. Remove the pineapple skin and cut 3 one inch thick round slices. Slice each round in half. (reserve and refrigerate the remaining fruit for other uses).
  4. Pull off 1 packed tablespoon of fresh tarragon leaves

(Set all these ingredients aside and make the vanilla sauce before proceeding with step 5).

  1. Using a thick potholder remove the large hot cast iron pan and place it on the stove over high heat – leave the other 2 pans in the oven. Melt 3 tablespoons of sweet butter in the pan, add the fresh tarragon leaves and top immediately with the salmon fillets skin side down. Sauté the salmon for 2 minutes.
  2. Using a thick potholder, remove the medium pans from the oven and place on the stove. Using the same potholder place the large cast iron pan with the salmon into the oven and bake for 7 to 10 minutes. Leave the salmon skin side down as it will become crisp and flavorful.
  3. Place the medium cast iron or stainless steel pans onto high heat and melt 2 tablespoons sweet butter in each. Sauté the pineapple in one pan until lightly caramelized for 5 to 7 minutes turning half way through.
  4. While the pineapple is cooking  sauté the sea scallops in the other medium pan for about 2 minutes per side.
  5. When the pineapple and scallops are finished remove the salmon from the oven and follow the plating instructions.
fresh tarragon in the pan ready to be topped with the salmon
fresh tarragon in the pan ready to be topped with the salmon

For the sauce

  1. Slice the vanilla bean in half and gently scrape the seeds into a small saucepan and add the pod. Pour the wine over the vanilla. Over medium heat bring the wine to a simmer and reduce to 4 tablespoons (2 ounces). Discard the pods.
  2. In a small sauté pan melt 2 tablespoons sweet butter over medium heat and add the grated onion. Gently cook for a few minutes until the onion is translucent. Do not brown.
  3. Add the onions to the reduced vanilla wine and pour in the almond milk.
  4. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook uncovered for 7 to 10 minutes.
  5. Dissolve the cornstarch in 2 tablespoons white wine and stir into the almond milk. Simmer gently for 1 to 2 minutes until the sauce is slightly thickened.
  6. Line a strainer with cheesecloth and strain the sauce into a small heat proof bowl and keep warm by placing into a larger bowl containing enough hot water to reach half way up the side of the sauce bowl.

(Continue with steps 5 – 9 of the salmon, scallops and pineapple).

To plate the dish

  1. Cover the bottom of a dinner plate with vanilla sauce. Place one salmon fillet in the center of the plate. Arrange 3 sea scallops on top and/or to the side of the fillet. Arrange 3 half slices of pineapple to the side of the salmon and scallops.

Enjoy this mélange of flavors from the tropics and the sea with a crisp green salad and a dry white wine such as a sauvignon blanc.

Sautéed salmon and scallops with caramelized pineapple and vanilla sauce
Sautéed salmon and scallops with caramelized pineapple and vanilla sauce

 

You can read more articles by Marc d’Entremont at:

Hellenic News of America

Original World Insights

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