Magic Salmon

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Welcome 2013! You’ve been a rough one so far, but hopefully many better days ahead! The kids and I are all finally on the mend and we are getting back to eating food again.

I thought I would start out 2013 with a recipe that is for sure my favorite dairy/soy- free dinner: Magic Salmon.  It is delicious and wonderfully easy.

The inspiration for this recipe came from salmon my dad makes in the summer with the fresh salmon he catches in Lake Michigan.  He liberally sprinkles fresh salmon steaks with Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Salmon Seasoning and grills them on cedar planks.   The Magic Salmon Seasoning, which you can get in the spice aisle of many grocery stores or here at amazon.com, is just a spice blend that is amazing on fish.

Magic Salmon Seasoning

I’ve made my dad’s recipe many times, but one night I decided to add a coating of mustard to the salmon before the Magic Seasoning.  The result was fantastic!  We now make this recipe whenever good salmon fits into the grocery budget.

You don’t like salmon you say?  Well, don’t blame your taste buds just yet.  It may be the salmon you are buying.  Some of the fishiest salmon with the worst texture I ever had was a frozen package I bought at my grocery store.  It was so different from fresh salmon that I couldn’t believe it. If you can’t get high quality fish at your grocery store, I highly recommend finding a fish market.  The best salmon I’ve found, outside of freshly caught, is salmon from a great seafood shop nearby that just does seafood.  The next best I can buy is from Whole Foods.  At both locations the people working there can tell me where the fish was caught, when it was caught, and how the variety I am buying compares in taste to other varieties.   We often buy Scottish salmon, which to my taste is very fatty and rich.  It picks up the flavors of the cedar planks and grill smoke beautifully, but it does make for a rich meal. Also, it is pricey.  No doubt about it.  But like a nice steak, it is not something we have every week and it is definitely worth the cost.

If you can, don’t skip the cedar planks.  They really are an important part of the recipe, adding lots of flavor to the fish and protecting the fish from the direct heat of the grill.  I’ve found them for sale in the seafood section of many grocery stores but they are also easy to find online.  (The cedar planks in my pictures are from Woot.com.)  The trick with cedar planks is to remember to soak them in water for at least an hour before you use them.

This recipe is really easy, with minimal prep work so don’t overthink it.  I’ve given rough measurements for the dijon mustard and seasonings but don’t feel like you have to get out the measuring spoons, I don’t unless I’m trying to write down recipes to share.  I literally just smear mustard all over the salmon fillets until they look coated on all sides (except the skin) and then sprinkle the salmon seasoning VERY liberally on all the fleshy sides.  Quick and easy!

Magic Salmon

Ingredients

4 Salmon Fillets, 1/2 pound each (skin on is fine)

about 4 tablespoons Dijon Mustard, divided

about 4 teaspoons Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Salmon Magic Seasoning, divided

2 Cedar Planks for grilling, soaked in water for 1 hour

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Directions

First make sure your cedar planks have been soaked and are ready to go.  Then get your grill going.  (I use a charcoal grill.  I start the charcoal in a chimney style lighter and after the coals are lit/ashed over,  I spread them evenly over the bottom of the grill.  Then I place the grate on the grill, put the lid on and let the grill heat up for about 5 minutes.)

Prepare the fish:   Place the salmon fillets skin side down on the cedar planks, two fillets per plank.  Smear about 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard over each fillet, more if needed.

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Then sprinkle 1 teaspoon of Salmon Magic Seasoning over each fillet, using more if needed.

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Place the cedar planks on the grill and put the cover on the grill.  Cook the salmon for 20-30 minutes.  I check the fish at 15 minutes with a probe thermometer.   Take the fish off when it reaches 135 degrees F.   I use a big cookie sheet to lay the planks on to carry the fish into the house.

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As you take the fish off the cedar plank, usually the skin stays behind, making it perfectly ready to serve and eat!

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