We enjoy Fish Fridays in our house, and I love summer when we can use the grill for meals like this. Salmon takes on a smoky charbroiled flavor when grilled on a cedar plank, glazing it with a spicy sweet sauce perfectly complements the buttery fish. The glaze is super easy to put together in a blender, making enough for reserves to spread on the cooked salmon. The salmon usually cooks in less time than it takes to preheat the grill. I served ours with some Lemony Green and Wax Beans and Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos for a delicious warm weather meal.
Recipe adapted from Cook's Country Magazine Sweet and Saucy Gas-Grilled Salmon with Lime-Jalapeno Glaze Aug/Sept. 2006
Step 1: Gather Ingredients
Cedar plank large enough to hold all salmon, soaked at least 2 hours (I soaked our plank overnight in a 9 x 13-inch pan held underwater by a mason jar filled with water.)
1/2 cup jalapeno (or hot pepper) jelly
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, including stems
1 tsp. grated lime zest
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
2 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
2 scallions, chopped rough
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
4 salmon fillets (each 6 to 8 ounces and 1-1 1/4 inches thick), skin removed (I only used 3 fillets)
Salt and pepper
Step 2: Prepare Glaze
Process jelly, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, garlic, and scallions in food processor or blender until smooth.
Heat glaze in small saucepan over medium heat until just bubbling, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer 1/4 cup glaze to small bowl to cool slightly. Stir butter into glaze remaining in saucepan, cover, and set aside.
Step 3: Prepare Salmon
If your salmon has skin, you'll want to remove it so the glaze gets nice and grilled into both sides. I find a serrated paring knife works best for me, whatever knife you use, the sharper the better and the less flesh you'll remove.
Holding the skin, slide the knife between the flesh and skin and work it backwards peeling the skin with one hand, moving the knife in the other until all skin is removed.
Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper and brush each side with 1/2 Tbsp. reserved glaze (without butter).
Step 4: Grill and Enjoy
Preheat the grill, turn on all the burners to high, cover, and heat the grill until very hot, about 10 minutes. Have a spray water bottle ready by the grill to put out any flare ups.
Put the cedar plank on the grill, cover, and preheat 3-4 minutes until smoking hot, flip the plank over and add salmon fillets.
You might at this point be wondering: "Stephanie, why aren't there any actual pictures of the salmon grilling?" Well, all I can say is blame the Lime-a-Ritas!* (*And by Lime-a-Ritas I mean the beans I was also taking pictures of, forgetting all about the salmon.)
Grill salmon on high until the glaze forms a golden brown crust, about 6-8 minutes. Using a spatula or tongs, flip the salmon and cook 1 minute. Spoon half of the buttered glaze on the salmon and cook until the center of each fillet is still just translucent, about 1 minute. Transfer the salmon to a platter and let rest a few minutes. Spoon the remaining glaze over the salmon and serve.
Some cedar planks are thicker, better quality than others, if your plank isn't too charred, or falling apart, it makes a great presentation for the salmon. Let it cool while the salmon rests, then put the salmon back on and serve.