Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cedar Plank Grilled Salmon With Tarragon Herbs

One of the biggest perks of working for a public high school is having one month of summer vacation.  I can turn off my alarm clock, spend a little bit of time with some neglected areas of our home.  I look forward to swimming every day, going to movies and meeting girlfriend for lunch, and doing whatever I pleased. I eagerly counted down the days until my summer vacation would begin...

What was I thinking?   I finally convinced my husband that our living area carpets had seen better days, and that it was time to upgrade our home with fresh paint and new flooring.   My husband decided to take on the challenge job of  installing laminate flooring in our house all by himself.  What we both thought would take "a couple of days work, turned out to be a couple of weeks.   Swimming, cooking and baking flew out the window, as I did my best to deal with the chaos of furniture being moved into our backyard, and packing up breakables.  Whew!

Slowly, but surely, our living area is almost back to normal-- and I am thrilled with how fresh and new our home looks. Yay!

Before I knew it, my summer vacation was over, and coincidentally, my last day of vacation was on my birthday.   I usually like to invite friends and family over for a birthday BBQ.  I couldn't muster the energy for it.

I did, however, find the energy to bake my own birthday cake.  Trust me, this is the perfect excuse for me to bake a new cake recipe-- and this one has been on my mind for months.  (I'll share this recipe on my next post.) 

On a whim, I invited two of my dearest friends, who were anxious to see how the new floors and paint turned out. I bought a beautiful piece of salmon, and I had a cedar plank that I had forgotten about.     While chatting with my friends,I "winged" preparing the salmon to be grilled on a wooden plank. I didn't even think of blogging this dinner, so I didn't photograph my usual step-by-step photos.  The salmon turned out so delicious, that I wanted to share it with you.

You can find food-safe planks at most any kitchen store, and I've even seen them in the grilling displays at grocery stores, at Target or Costco.  They average about $5.00 each.  It's important to buy planks that haven't been treated with chemicals, so I don't recommend buying them from Home Depot!  Soak the plank in a dish of water, weighted down with something heavy, for at least four hours.



This makes a beautiful presentation, without a lot of hard work.  I'm going to buy a few more planks because this was a fun way to prepare fresh fish on the grill.

A recipe card is at the end of this post.

I'm back at work, and it's one of the most hectic times of the school year-- registration!  I have so many recipes I'm anxious to share with you, but it'll have to wait for the weekend.







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19 comments:

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

You spent your summer vacation laying floors? My mother would have said "are you mad at yourself?" (smile). From experience I know that floors are a big, big job. I would not have had the energy left to make cedar planked salmon for myself, much less anyone else. Pat yourself on the back for that one.

Your photos are fantastic and make me want to jump in the screen and take a bite.
Sam

Maureen, Milwaukee said...

Happy Birthday! Thanks for all the stories and recipes you share with us. Hope you'll post some pics of you new living area when you can. And the cake looks beautiful - can hardly wait to see the recipe. Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Introverted Art said...

I am not a huge fan of salmon but this looks absolutely delicious.

TKW said...

That is one gorgeous-looking piece of fish!

Karen said...

This is our favorite way to prepare salmon... turns out beautifully every time. Happy belated birthday!!

Kate said...

Wow...the summer sure flew by. At least you had a chance to get away for a few weeks before you started the big project. You are a brave lady!

I have a plank tucked away that I have never used. I think now is a perfect time to pull it out of the cupboard.

Can't believe that you are back to work. Hope you have a great school year!

Christine said...

Always wanted to try salmon on a plank, usually just end up smoking it. Thanks for describing how to make what looks like a delicious dinner. Love tarragon and salmon. :)

Joanne said...

No matter how much time I have off, I never get as much of the fun stuff done as I wish I had! Sounds like you spent your birthday right...eating awesome food! The salmon looks great and I can't wait to see that cake!

FoodPorn said...

I've never been fond of salmon, but this looks delicious! This is the first time I've seen plank grilling up close. I bet it gets a good wood smoked flavor. This is one recipe I just may have to try despite my dislike of salmon.

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

It sounds like your birthday dinner was wonderful. I love salmon cooked on a plank and your cake looks out of this world. Isn't it amazing how fast a month can fly by when you don't want it to?

Roz said...

What a great way to spend your birthday Debby! I adore salmon, it's my absolute favorite fish and need to run out and pick up one of these planks! the recipe is incredible and I can't wait to read about your lovely birthday cake!

Allie said...

A very Happy Birthday to you!!! You must be so excited with your home improvements! The salmon looks amazing! I currently have some salmon in my freezer that my in-laws caught up in Alaska and now I know just what to do with it ;)

Brenda Z. said...

Happy belated birthday Debby! Your salmon looks absolutely mouth-watering. We love salmon but I have never cooked it on a cedar plank before, me thinks I need to give this a try :)

Reeni said...

Your salmon is gorgeous on the cedar plank! I'm sorry your vacation went by so fast! Enjoy your new floors. Happy Belated Birthday!

Stacey Snacks said...

I love the cedar planks, I make the salmon w/ honey, mustard and rosemary and it's always a big hit! Nice presentation Deb, glad you are enjoying your summer time off.
xo

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday I am sorry this will be belated, did not read your blogs until today 7/31/12..summer baby you are, the cedar planked salmon looks divine living in Washington state at the beach and anywhere we can find the salmon cedar planked we order it in the summertime..yummeee, your birthday cake looks great cannot wait to try the salmon and the recipe for your birthday cake, our neighbor makes the planks, native american and we buy salmon from him too, all the money goes for the native college for scholarships in Bellingham washington the school is right next western washington university where our only child attened and loved the school and the Native college, many of her classmates attend both, we feel fortunate living in this great state amongst native populations and they make their salmon on planks next to fires up in the gorge area where we go to visit family and always go to their native festivals, they have the best salmon and blackberry preserves, potatoes a certain way and it is glorious, it was their land for 100's of years before the explorers Lewis & Clark came out this way, why not honor them..have a great birthday year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lauren said...

that salmon looks amazing!!
www.girlsgonefood.com

Inside a British Mum's Kitchen said...

This is a beautiful recipe and a beautiful piece of fish! really delicious - I'm looking forward to that cake too!
Mary x

Sue/the view from great island said...

Oh Debby, your photos are spectacular, I want to dig right in!