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Cedar-Planked Salmon with Red Pepper & Caper Sauce

June 7, 2013 | By andrea | Filed in: Fish, Grilling/BBQ, Main Dish, Recipes.


Salmon — famous in the Pacific Northwest — is my favorite type of fish, and cooking it on a cedar plank is my favorite method of cooking it. The plank not only keeps the fish moist because it protects it from the direct heat of the grill, but it infuses the salmon with a wonderful smoky flavor. The tangy, Spanish-inspired roasted red pepper sauce is the perfect compliment to the dish. This is a perfect meal for summer!

The recipe calls for salmon fillets but I usually use a whole big piece of salmon (I just cook it a little longer). Costco recently had a 6-pk. of cedar grilling planks for about $7, which is a great price.

I couldn’t find hot paprika of either variety (smoked or Hungarian) so I used regular smoked paprika with a few dashes of cayenne pepper.

You need to soak the plank in water for about 1 hour before putting it on the grill. I usually do this in a large baking pan or in the sink with enough water to cover the plank. Also, it helps to weigh the plank down with something heavy like a tea kettle.

Serve the Cedar-Planked Salmon and Red Pepper & Caper Sauce with Mediterranean Rice Salad. Enjoy!

Cedar-Planked Salmon with Red Pepper & Caper Sauce
-recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine 

Though this grilling method hails from the Pacific Northwest, it’s paired with Spanish flavors in the sauce. You can find small cedar planks meant for cooking at many supermarkets. Serves four.

For the sauce:
1/2 cup jarred piquillo peppers or roasted red peppers
1-1/2 Tbs. sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 Tbs. brine-packed capers, rinsed and chopped
1-1/2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salmon:
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. hot pimentón de la Vera (Spanish smoked paprika) or Hungarian hot paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Four 6- to 8-oz. skinless salmon fillets (preferably at least 1 inch thick)
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Make the sauce:
Put the peppers, vinegar, mustard, and garlic in a blender and begin to puree. With the blender running, add the oil in a thin, steady stream. Transfer to a small bowl, stir in the capers, parsley, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if needed.

Prepare the salmon:
Soak a cedar plank in cold water for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours. In a small bowl, mix the sugar, cumin, pimentón, 1-1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Sprinkle the mixture over the salmon and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, or cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.

Prepare a two-zone fire on a gas or charcoal grill: On a gas grill, set two of the burners to high (one if your grill only has two burners) and leave one burner off. On a charcoal grill, push all of the lit coals to one side of the grill.

Set the cedar plank on the grill over the hot zone, cover the grill, and wait until the plank starts to smoke, 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, rub the skinned sides of the salmon fillets with the oil. Slide the plank to the cooler zone and arrange the salmon on top, oiled side down and thicker ends closest to the hot zone. Cover the grill (vents open on a charcoal grill) and cook until the fish is almost cooked through with just a touch of pink in the center—make a nick with a paring knife in the thicker part of a fillet to check—or an instant-read thermometer inserted in a thick part registers 135°F, 10 to 14 minutes. Transfer the fish (still on the plank) to a serving platter and serve with the sauce.

Make Ahead Tips:
The sauce can be made up to two days ahead and stored in the refrigerator.

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One comment on “Cedar-Planked Salmon with Red Pepper & Caper Sauce

  1. Oh, wow! This looks absolutely delicious! I think I’m going to have to add salmon and a cedar plank to my grocery list and give this one a go!

    I would love it if you would link up and share some of your wonderful recipes with my readers on my Foodie Friday Blog Hop! You can share some of your favorite recipes and find some new ones, as well!

    Hope to see you there!

    A Room for Two with a View