Much to Mark's consternation, family and friends are always gifting me little odds and ends for our kitchen. Maybe he has a point - our kitchen is about the size of a matchbook and my kitchen equiptment has been inching out into every other room in out teenie tiny apartment. But honestly, why does Mark need a closet anyway? Or a bureau for that matter. I thought giving him a large plastic bin to store his clothes under the bed was very generous indeed. Oh well. One of those kitchen odds and ends that I received from my dear mother is a small cedar plank. Cedar planks are about 4x9 inches of fragrant cedar wood that you cook food atop and it imparts cedar flavor into the dish. I never had a good chance to use it, so when I brought home a beautiful piece of salmon for dinner, I knew I had to dig it out. I made a simple, sweet BBQ sauce to brush on top of the salmon to cut through the natural fattiness of the fish. It really did soak up a hint of the cedar and the sharp, sweet BBQ sauce really matched the fish perfectly. If you don't have a cedar plank (and why would you?) make this and BBQ Salmon and place the fish directly on your baking dish. It will still be just at fantastic.
Cedar Plank BBQ Salmon (feeds two)
0.6-0.8 lb. salmon fillet
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tsp. hot sauce
2 Tbs. light brown sugar
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. mustard powder
1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
generous dash cayenne
salt and pepper
1. Make the quick BBQ sauce by whisking together all of the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
2. Microwave the sauce for 2 minutes so that the flavors marry. If you aren't into using the microwave, you can cook this in a small pot on the stove for 10 minutes. If you go the stove top route, you'll need to add a few Tbs. of water so it doesn't burn.
2. Soak the plank in water for 10 minutes so that it doesn't scorch in the oven.
3. Remove the plank from the water and place it on a dry baking tray that you've lined with foil. Place the salmon fillet on top of the cedar plank (or directly onto the foil if you are plank-less) and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
4. Generously brush the salmon with BBQ sauce.
5. Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 15 minutes, remove from the oven and brush again with sauce, then return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes.
6. It will flake when it is cooked through.
Since the fish is quite fatty and rich, I usually serve salmon with something simple like boiled potatoes, green salad, peas, etc. Enjoy!
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