Simple Cedar Plank Salmon

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About 20 years ago, I drove from San Diego to Maine with my mom. Maine was an absolute feast for the eyes. We had a great time on our way across the country and the words to America the Beautiful sprang to mind. The written words were transformed to awe inspiring scenery as we drove. “O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain, for purple mountains majesty, above the fruited plains.” Many sing this song without a true understanding of how gorgeous our country really is. The lyrics absolutely sprang to life right in front of my eyes and were forever burned in my mind.

Dinner doesn’t get much easier than Simple Cedar Plank Salmon.

One of the places we visited while in Maine was Bar Harbor. There were many restaurants to choose from and we happened on a place that had a Simple Cedar Plank Salmon with blueberry sauce. Salmon is one of my favorites, but up until that point that time, I had never had it on a cedar plank. Wow and Wow! I had been missing out!

This Simple Cedar Plank Salmon derives its name because it is cooked on a piece of cedar plank. The flavor and the subtle smoke from the wood is just fantastic. The fish is placed on the soaked wood and then that wood is placed on the grill or in the oven. The wood releases steam that helps to keep the fish moist.

Being that I love to make a recipe my own, upon returning from Maine, I promptly went to the store in search of cedar planks and made several versions of my own Simple Cedar Plank Salmon. The planks can usually be found near the grilling tools and if you cant find them there, I have also found them on Amazon.

Simple Cedar Plank Salmon can be dressed up to wow your friends.

The recipe is easy, you just need to plan ahead in order to allow the planks time to soak. If you don’t have a grill, you can certainly cook this in the oven. You would just preheat your oven to 375 degrees and cook the salmon for about 17-23 minutes or until it easily flakes with a fork. The smoky flavor isn’t as intense when cooked in the oven, but it is wonderful nonetheless.

I have several different variations of Simple Cedar Plank Salmon, from sticky sweet, spicy, tart with Dijon mustard or like I had in Maine, covered in luscious blueberry sauce. My favorite though is slightly sweet from brown sugar or honey and spicy from cayenne or chipotle powder or more of a Citrus flavor where I sprinkle it with garlic salt, dill, cayenne and drizzle orange juice and olive oil over the top and then place orange slices on top when grilling (which is the version in the pictures).

If you don’t care for fish, I have the solution, Simple Cedar Plank Salmon. It will covert even the biggest fish naysayer. This is delicious leftover made into a salmon spread, broken into pieces and placed on top of a salad or just chunks popped into your mouth. I hope you try Simple Cedar Plank Salmon and love it as much as we do. Enjoy friends!

What is your favorite way to grill salmon?

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