Cedar Plank Salmon with Grilled Peppers and Couscous

My parents came in town to spend a couple days with us and since I hadn’t cooked any salmon on my new 26.75″ Weber One Touch Gold, I thought I’d give it a shot.  My local seafood shop was running a special where for each 1 lb of premium salmon you purchased they would toss in a free cedar plank ($4 value).  So I bought 2 lb’s, thus I got 2 planks.  Not bad.  I had decided earlier in the day I wanted to grill the salmon over a cedar plank and baste with a maple-honey glaze; whip up a ginger-dill heavy cream sauce that would be used to drizzle over the fish; then serve with couscous topped with grilled peppers.  It sounds a bit involved, but it actually didn’t take too long (aside from getting the kettle fired up) and it turned out one of the best meals I’ve eaten in a while (wife and parents agreed too..).  I’ve got recipes and pics below.  Couple quick tips:  make sure to buy the best salmon you can and try to go to an actual seafood store over a general grocery store if possible.  There’s a good chance grocery stores will have decent stuff, but I just trust the “freshness” of the fish I’m getting from a seafood store a little bit more.  At my local store, there were premium (sushi-grade) fillets and then non-premium.  If I’m cooking salmon, I’m going to spend a few more dollars and get the premium.  Personal preference, but I guarantee you it will taste better!  The other thing is giving yourself at least 1 hr to let your cedar plank soak.  Soaking them helps to steam the fish with flavor from the plank and keep the fish moist.  Some people experiment with other liquids like wine, beer or apple cider.  Go HERE for some additional info on cedar planking.  And go HERE for various cedar plank options.  The ones I got free from my local store are pretty thin and cheap, so I’d recommend trying to buy the thickest one you can find.  Lastly, with this recipe, though I made the ginger-dill sauce, my dad preferred just the taste of the maple-honey glaze on the salmon and opted not to use the sauce.  So… if you’re glazing the salmon with something super tasty, it’s not necessary to serve with a drizzling sauce, but I still wanted to anyways b/c of how good it is.  :)  OK, well, now for the recipes and the pics.  Hope you enjoy!

Salmon

1-2 lbs of premium (wild caught if possible) salmon
Olive oil
Dill weed
Crushed black pepper

30-45 minutes before grilling, glaze fillets with olive oil and sprinkle with dill weed and crushed black pepper and let sit.  There are also some great seafood rubs you can either make or purchase, but I think dill weed and crushed black pepper does the trick!

Maple-Honey Glaze

1/3 cups maple syrup (you can use the fake stuff or non-maple flavors, but the legit maple syrup will taste much better)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1-2 tbsp of honey
1-2 tsp lemon juice

Whisk all ingredients in a bowl until smooth.  Heavily apply to salmon fillets a few minutes before you pull them off the grill.

Ginger-Dill Cream Sauce

2 cups heavy cream
1-2 tbsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp dill weed
1 tsp crushed black pepper
1/2 cups diced tomatos (optional)

Combine all ingredients in small – medium sauce pan and reduce down to about half until thick and creamy.  After the sauce is ready and just before serving, toss in 1/2 cup or so of diced tomatoes.  This is optional, but I like to do it as it adds a nice flavor to the salmon.  Serve on the side as some people may prefer not to use it on the salmon.  (Personally, I drown my salmon in it…)

Grilled Peppers and Couscous (thanks for the recipe Amber!!!)

Tri-colored bell peppers.  I bought a pack of three (one red, one yellow, one green) and it was plenty for 4 of us.
1 box of couscous (I used wheat)
Olive oil
Lemon juice
Fresh herbs of your choice (thyme, rosemary, and oregano are good options)

Cook the couscous according to the directions, this is important because you can overcook the couscous and end up with a pile of mush if you’re not careful.  Slice the peppers into long strips then toss with olive oil.  Grill in a grill basket and remove once they are tender, but still a bit crunchy.  Don’t worry if there are a few charred edges here and there, but you definitely don’t want all of them charred.  In a blender, throw in about 3-4 oz. of olive oil, lemon juice (or lime, even orange), fresh herbs of your choice and blend it all up.  Toss with your peppers and couscous and serve with the salmon.

Here are the cedar planks soaking in water

soaked cedar planks

Slice tri-colored bell peppers

sliced tri color bell peppers

Maple-Honey Glaze mixed and ready to go!

maple honey salmon glaze

Salmon fillets covered in olive oil and sprinkled with dill ween and crush black pepper

fresh salmon filets with dill weed and black pepper

Salmon fillets on the cedar planks just before hitting the grill

cedar plank salmon filets

On the Weber One Touch Gold kettle!

cedar plank salmon on weber one touch gold

Off the grill and resting for a couple minutes

cedar plank salmon and grilled bell peppers

Close up off the salmon (it kind fell apart as i took it off the grill….)

cedar plank salmon

Close up of grilled bell peppers

grilled tri color bell peppers

Cedar plank salmon with maple-honey glaze, topped with ginger-dill cream sauce and service with wheat couscous topped with grilled tri-colored bell peppers.  Ready to eat!

cedar plank salmon with ginger dill cream sauce

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