Salmon grilled on a cedar board has become increasingly popular for summer outdoor entertaining in the city or at the cottage! It can be a bit tricky to pull off – the cedar boards have to be soaked for a couple of hours and the temperature of the barbecue carefully controlled. As well, constant attention is required to put out any “flare-ups” which will frequently occur. And care needs to be taken not to overcook the salmon or it will be too dry.
Here is a “foolproof”, quick and easy way to get the same beautifully cedar smoked flavour without all the fuss! It is easy with one of the many specialty seasonings available in the grocery store or specialty food stores. Club House and other brands all have delicious wood-smoked seasonings. The one I use is Club House la Grille “Smoldering Smoked Applewood” but any smoke flavoured seasoning salt will work perfectly and I have done the same technique with many other brands.
Simply take a fresh piece of salmon – place it skin side down on a double layer of aluminum foil and sprinkle well with and lightly rub in the spice mixture. Close the foil around the salmon leaving an opening at the top. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Since I am going to do the salmon in a foil packet, I am also going to do the rest of the meal the same way! Potatoes and asparagus are two of my favourites done this way on the grill.
For the asparagus, wash and trim the bottoms and lay out on a large piece of aluminum foil. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and drizzle with olive oil. Chop some sun dried tomatoes (the ones in oil) and scatter over the asparagus. Layer slices of thin bacon or pancetta on top and close the foil, leaving an opening at the top. Refrigerate until ready to put on the grill.
Wash and quarter red skinned potatoes, sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and toss in olive oil. Add some onion wedges or chopped garlic, if desired. Bear in mind that the onion will char quickly, but that just adds to the smokey flavour. Lay them on a large piece of foil and put three or four pats of butter on top. Again close the foil, leaving the top edges open.
This can be prepared early in the day.
Preheat the barbecue to medium heat (375 or so). Use a perforated grill pan on the barbecue if you wish. Place the potato package on the grill and cook with the lid closed for 8 – 10 minutes or when they are sizzling. Remove the potatoes to the upper rack. Place the salmon package and the asparagus package on the rack and grill for another 8-10 minutes until salmon flakes easily and asparagus is tender.
Arrange salmon, potatoes and asparagus on a large platter and serve! Delicious!!!
Any vegetable you can think of takes on a wonderfully complex and delicious flavour and texture when grilled on a barbecue. How about farmer’s market beets? Those beautiful freshly picked baby beets have lovely tender red stalked leaves, related to Swiss chard and so nutritious…..it is a shame to toss them out! Try them on the grill! You won’t believe how delicious they are!
Wash the leaves with stems attached well as they can often be sandy. Shake to drain and put them in a large bowl. Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt and toss in a small amount of olive oil just until the leaves are just glistening.
Layer them on an oiled perforated grill pan. Set the grill pan on a grill at medium heat. With tongs toss and turn the leaves over as they begin to wilt and grill until leaves begin to char at the edges and stems are tender.
They only take about 5 minutes or so, depending on the heat of the grill, so do these last, just before serving your meal. Enjoy!