Chris Smith has a sick, evil, twisted sense of humor.
I do like that in a person. Really! But he made me laugh out loud when he suggested the dish for this, and I’m sure that was his intention all along. Oh, and because it’s delicious. But mostly, I’m sure it was the punniness of it.
If this lead in is grabbing you, then you’re going to like the book he co-wrote with Jason Cordova, Kraken Mare. Full of dark humor, dark seas, and an alien planet, the book is a compelling read even if it does verge on Horror (which I don’t care for, but I liked Kraken Mare). Also, it pairs nicely with this meal.
So what did Chris suggest I make?
Why, Cedar Planked Salmon, of course!
This is a relatively simple thing to prepare. Ideally, you’d grill this, which I had planned to do. Unfortunately, we had pop-up thundershowers so grilling was out. But! It can easily be done in the oven, and the rub means you don’t lose out on much flavor. And for my readers who can’t grill, you can do this.
First thing to do is secure a couple of cedar planks. I think the first time I did this I used shingle scraps, but as you can see, I bought some for this meal. I grabbed them at the grocery store, but if you can’t find them, Amazon has them in a 12 pack. I set the plank (only cooking for two, for more you need more) in a shallow pan of water to soak about an hour before I planned to use it.
To serve alongside the meal I did a quick Greek Salad and this lovely black rice I’d found, for contrast with the salmon.
- For 1 lb of salmon, I used the following proportions on the rub:
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp ground ginger (or 2 tsp paste)
- 1/4 tsp berbere
- 2 tsp lime juice
- few drops liquid smoke
The First Reader, who won’t normally touch fish, ate all of his portion and agreed that the rub gave it a lot of flavor. I really enjoyed this, and am looking forward to a chance to make it on the grill, soon! It’s a fast, elegant, summer dinner that is well worth the special preparation efforts. The salmon was cooked beautifully, juicy, and more flavorful as any salmon I’ve had (and I’ve eaten a lot of salmon).
Perfect for kicking back in the backyard with a book after the storm has knocked the heat down!
You can find the index page for ETWYRT here, and the facebook group where we chat about food and books here.