Spiced Cedar Plank Salmon With a Maple Bourbon Glaze
What says Summer more than outdoor grilling? We usually grill all year round - grinning and bearing the cold as we do it, but there’s a special place in my heart for summer grilling. Summer is and has always been my favourite time of year, maybe that is why Caribbean living came easy for me when it came to the climate. Everything just seems lighter, freer, and easier in the Summer. No coats or boots to weigh you down, driving is so easy without ice and snow to contend with, it’s bright out til 9pm outside making entertaining outdoors possible and a lot easier. A simple menu is all that is needed when grilling is involved. Once you have your main meat or veggie component that you are grilling, all you have to do is whip up some sides and grab a few cold drinks and a pint of icecream and everyone is happy. Sit around the BBQ or on a deck, enjoying being outdoors for all of 2 weeks of Summer (I kid - it only feels like it’s only 2 weeks), sipping on something ice cold and enjoying company. Sure makes for some stress free entertaining.
A favourite of ours to do on the grill is cedar plank salmon. It’s perfect for feeding a few and grilling the salmon over a cedar plank gives it the most wonderful woodsy flavour and smokiness from the grill. It grills up very quickly and you can season your salmon any way you prefer. Sometimes less is more with olive oil, salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. But sometimes more is more and that is why I did this one spiced and with an epic maple bourbon glaze which is totally drinkable by the way. Creating a spice rub and glaze adds loads of flavour to the salmon and the glaze also adds a nice sweetness. It also caramelizes creating even more intense flavour. I strongly recommend it for this recipe and also any other meat you may be grilling.
So there’s a funny story about our first homemade cedar plank salmon - to make a long story short - I won’t divulge who - but someone didn’t realize that the cedar plank needed to be soaked for a while before grilling on it and it burned to a crisp and left the salmon uncooked. Disaster averted - we still ate it. It just needed a bit of time in the oven and really it’s the thought that counts when someone is making anniversary dinner for someone else - no names will be mentioned.
How to grill on a cedar plank
As we learned from our very first time grilling on a cedar plank, you must soak the wood before hand which will prevent the whole plank from going up in flames. The thicker the plank is, the longer you soak it for. The recommendation for this size plank was 3-4 hours of soaking it in water. This is good to take into consideration when planning a meal. Many people like to get some flavour in their plank by soaking it in cider or wine. I have never tried anything but water so I can’t recommend one. If you do decide to soak in something other than water, consider the flavours you will season the fish with so that they are compatible. Always preheat your grill like you would your oven and throw on the plank for a few minutes alone before adding the salmon so that it gets nice and hot, then reduce the heat a little and let the grill do it’s thing. It’s that simple.
I have partnered up with Metro to bring you this delicious recipe and I thought I would take a second to tell you about Metro. Metro is one of the many groceries stores around me. What sets it apart in my mind is the convenience of the hours, location and quality ingredients, especially when it comes to produce. I usually need a break in the evening after a long day of cooking and shooting before I have the energy to go do the groceries I need to for the next days shoots. Metro is always open at those times (like after 9pm) and almost always has everything I need - a thing I do not ever take for granted. So you see when I collaborate with a company to do sponsored content it’s always with a client or product that I use all the time. I have another great collaboration with Metro coming soon and I can’t wait. In the meantime hope you enjoy this recipe!
I have partnered up with Metro Ontario to bring you this fabulous recipe, but all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Olive & Mango.
- 1 cedar plank (soaked overnight or at least 1 hour)
- ½ lb salmon, skin on
- ¼ – ½ tsp chili pepper or cayenne
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsps smoked paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp of cracked black pepper plus more according to taste
- Chopped chives for garnishing
- Lemon slices for garnishing
For the maple bourbon glaze
- 6 tablespoons bourbon
- ¾ cup pure maple syrup
- Plank: Make sure that the plank has soaked for at least 1 hour and up to 24 or according to package recommendations.
- Season/rub the salmon with salt, pepper and granulated onion, garlic, chili powder and paprika spice mix. Let the salmon sit for 10 minutes at room temperature, until the rub is moistened.
- In the meantime make the glaze: Combine the whiskey and maple syrup in a small saucepan, bringing the mixture to a low boil and reduce by about half. You should have a thick syrup that coats the back of a spoon, approx ten minutes.
- Preheat the grill on medium high heat for 5 - 10 minutes. Rinse the plank and place it on the cooking grate. Cover the grill and heat the plank for 4 - 5 minutes or until it starts to throw off a bit of smoke and crackles lightly.
- Reduce the heat to medium low. Carefully place the salmon, skin side down, on the plank. Cover the grill and cook for 15-20 min, or until it is cooked and flakes, or to your desired doneness, brushing with glaze every 5 minutes or so.
- Remove from grill. Slide a thin spatula between the skin and flesh to easily separate fish from the skin. Serve immediately garnished with chopped chives and lemon slices. (You could also serve it right off the board with the skin still on)