Guys. It’s cold outside. Like legitimately cold. The heat is on in my office. (The heat is not on at my house, thanks to a budget-minded husband.) The windows in our house are fogging up. (Which, according to Kevin is a sign of fall??)I wore a coat to work today. I seriously contemplated picking up a PSL this morning, but didn’t because I was running a million minutes late, as per usual. All I want to do tonight is have a fire, curl up in a ball with a giant glass of red wine and chow down on a steaming vat of homemade chicken pot pie.
And while it kind of makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside, I can’t help but feel a little melancholy. I’m not ready for days without the windows down. Not ready to give up patios. Or morning coffee on our screened-in porch. Or flip flops. Or tomatoes. Or corn. Or juicy berries. Or grilling. Soooo, I pretty much don’t want to give anything up about summer.
Luckily, before the cold front came in, we had a massive heat wave, and this girl got to grillin’. (Yes, just two days ago it was 95 degrees and today it’s 55 – gotta love Kansas weather.) Grilling is not really my forte, but Kevin has a mini busy season going on right now, and I really wanted to try out the new cedar plank I impulsively bought at the grocery store, so I had no choice, but to man the grill myself. And you know what? It was pretty darn easy.
Of course, the classic way to go is a cedar-planked salmon, so that’s exactly what I did. The salmon gets marinated in a simple concoction of honey, sesame oil, crushed red pepper flake and rice vinegar – a very similar flavor profile to a traditional sesame honey chicken. It’s then transferred to the cedar plank (on the grill), and basted every five or so minutes until the flesh is cooked through.
The remaining marinade is boiled and reduced to an almost syrup-like consistency and then poured over the cooked salmon. We served it over a quick and seasonal corn and hatch pepper sauté, but it would also go great with a quick Asian broccoli or bok choy sauté and possibly this quinoa fried rice to keep the health factor up.
Of course, the salmon can also be baked in the oven, but I high highly recommend trying out the cedar plank method. The planks are super cheap to purchase (I paid $6 for two), and the cedar flavor that permeates the fish is unlike any other cooking method I’ve ever tired– it’s subtle, yet, completely there. And while the skin doesn’t get super crispy as I normally prefer, the indirect heat from the grill does something to the flesh that makes it instantaneously melt in your mouth– seriously, some of the most tender salmon I’ve ever made myself.
Now, if I can man the grill – so can you. Happy Friday all!
This honey sesame salmon is SO moist, flavorful and seriously easy to whip up for any weeknight dinner!
- 1 pound whole salmon
- ¼ sesame oil + 1 tablespoon
- ¼ cup honey
- 1/8 cup rice vinegar
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 1 cedar plank
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 2 ears of corn, removed from stalks
- 1 mild hatch pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Whisk oil, honey and vinegar in a small bowl. Add salmon to a large ziplock bag, and add marinade. Let set in the marinade for 2 hours.
- Soak cedar plank for two hours and up to a day. Dry off.
- Turn the grill on high and place the plank on the grill.
- Add the salmon, reserving the marinade.
- Every five minutes, brush the salmon with marinade until cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.
- Transfer remaining marinade to a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 3-4 minutes until thickened.
- Pour sauce over salmon and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve with corn and hatch pepper sauté.
- In a large sauté pan, melt butter and heat oil over a medium flame. Add remainin ingredients and sauté until corn is bright yellow and peppers and onion are soft. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
*Can also be prepared in the oven. Roast at 350 degrees, and cook as you would on the grill, basting every five minutes until cooked through.