Planking is Perfect

Grilling on cedar planks adds a delicate smoky and woodsy flavor to anything you cook and it’s the perfect way to keep salmon super moist, juicy and tender throughout.  It’s a fun way to grill too; the smell of smoldering cedar creates a throw-back, outdoorsy feel and the charred planks make for a dramatic presentation every time.  Here, we pair beautifully fresh salmon fillets with prosciutto wrapped asparagus bundles and make two simples sauces to accompany both.  The richness of the salmon, combined with the crunch of lightly grilled asparagus, the saltiness of prosciutto, and the cut of the citrus-honey glaze and dijon cream sauce make for a perfect combo that’s both healthy and quick to cook. It takes about 20 minutes once the Coyote Grill is fired up. Here’s the how to video and recipe below that.

Place the pre-charred cedar planks topped with salmon on the cool portion of the grill for indirect cooking

Place the pre-charred cedar planks topped with salmon on the cool portion of the grill for indirect cooking

Ingredients 

  • 1 Cedar Plank (5″ x 13″)  Cut your own using inexpensive 1/2″ thick untreated cedar or buy in the grilling section of  your home store
  • 2 Salmon Filets (skin on) – about 1.5 lbs. total
  • 2 Oranges or Clementines – sliced to top salmon, and juiced and zested for sauces
  • Ultimate Dry Rub for salmon and grilled asparagus (see below for recipe)
  • 1 Bundle of Asparagus – about 1 lb.
  • 1/4 lb. Prosciutto – for wrapping asparagus
  • Citrus-Honey Glaze  (see below for recipe)
  • Dijon Cream Sauce  (see below for recipe)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions

  1.  Soak cedar plank in water for 1-2 hours and drain
  2. Preheat grill to high on one side and low on the other.  The hot side will be used to char the cedar planks before adding the salmon and to grill the asparagus ; the low side will be used to cook the planked salmon to ensure even cooking and to prevent flareups.   Give the grill 5 minutes with lid closed to get to the right temperature on both sides.
  3.  Once grill is ready, place soaked cedar plank on hot side of the grill for 5 minutes or until charred and smoking.  Flip over with tongs…the pre-charred side will hold the salmon to impart flavor
  4. Prepare Citrus-Honey Glaze and Dijon Cream Sauce (see below for recipes)
  5. Cut salmon filet into 2 equal sized pieces and season liberally with Ultimate Dry Rub
  6. Top  salmon with sliced orange or clementine slices and place skin side down on charred side of cedar plank – the tighter the better on the plank to prevent flareups
  7. Place planked salmon on cool side of the grill and close the lid – resist the urge to peek for at least 7-8 minutes.
  8.  Trim and wash Asparagus. Wrap in prosciutto with a dollop of Dijon Mustard inside –  this adds a nice surprise kick and also acts as a binder when wrapping.  Drizzle with Citrus-Honey Glaze

    Grill Asparagus bundles on high heat for 3-4 minutes until prosciutto crisps

    Grill Asparagus bundles on high heat for 3-5 minutes until prosciutto and asparagus tips crisp

  9. After 7-8 minutes, open grill to check on salmon and add asparagus bundles to the hot side of the grill
  10. Grill salmon and asparagus bundles for 3-5 minutes and drizzle salmon with Citrus-Honey Glaze.
  11. Remove from heat.  Salmon should be cooked through on the sides and feel rare to the touch in the middle…it will continue to cook on the plank once off the heat.
  12. Rest salmon for 2-3 minutes  and use a spatula to remove from the plank…the skin should stay behind and it delicious crisped up on the grill if it stays intact.
  13. Serve salmon with asparagus bundles, sauces, a sprinkle of Ultimate Dry Rub and a squeeze of citrus.
  14. Pair with your favorite seasonal beer, wine or cocktail…..we went with Hoegaarden Belgium White Ale which has hints of orange peel to match the citrus in the dish.

    finished-salmon

    Ready to come off the grill….about 15 minutes total cook time

Ultimate Dry Rub 

Make this spice rub in bulk and use it on just about everything including salmon.   If you don’t have all the spices listed, eliminate or substitute.  Mix together  to make about 3 cups total:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Kosher Salt
  • 1/4  cup each Smoked Spanish Paprika & Dark Brown Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons each –  garlic powder, dry mustard powder,  chipotle powder, ancho chili powder, cumin, cracked black pepper
  • 1/2  teaspoon each –cayenne pepper,  ground fennel and coriander sees, ground clove, cinnamon
plating

Ready for plating…you can serve directly on the cedar planks if you prefer

Mix all ingredients thoroughly in an airtight container or buzz the whole batch in a spice or coffee grinder if you have one.  Store in cool place for up to 3 months and sprinkle before cooking.

Honey-Citrus Glaze

Whisk-up this sweet and tangy sauce  in 2 minutes flat. It’s the perfect glaze for salmon, pork, chicken and vegetables and it makes for a delicious salad dressing that keeps well in the fridge.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp Honey
  • Juice and Zest of 1 Orange or 2 Clementines (use microplane for zesting – it’s a great tool to have)
  • 1 Clove Garlic – minced
  • Pinch of Ultimate Dry Rub
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil –  few glugs or about 3 tablespoons

Whisk all ingredients together and baste on salmon and asparagus as it cooks.  Add extra as finishing sauce to the plated dish.

Dijon Cream Sauce

 Ideal on salmon and other seafood and the perfect side sauce for chicken tenders, grilled steak, and vegetables.

Ingredients

  • 1 Tb. Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tbs. Sour Cream
  • Juice of Orange or Clementine
  • Pinch of Ultimate Dry Rub
  • Freshly chopped herbs – chives, parsley, basil, mint, fennel, tarragon….or whatever you have handy

Mix together and let the flavors come together….the longer it sits, the better it gets.

 

final

The wooden slab makes a nice serving plate for the salmon and asparagus

 

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