This year we have had a real, honest to God or Goddess spring. The weather has been seasonally cool, with light winds and rain as appropriate. No snow (sorry, Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan), no heatwave, just spring and we are not sure how to deal with this phenomenon. How quickly we have forgotten that it is not safe to plant annuals before the first week of May. And board shorts and flip flops won’t be needed really until the end of May or June. But one thing is always constant. And that is that spring and summer always herald is the advent of the grill season.
We started grilleing a week or two ago just as the weather started turning lovely and the ponds and small spring in the backyard called to us to come out and sit a while. And up until yesterday, all of our grilled dinners were delicious and uneventful. Then we decided that planked Salmon would be just the thing for Saturday’s dinner. Off we went to Harris Teeters to buy our fresh salmon and asparagus, then home to soak the planks and get everything ready. I had gotten another flat of red double begonias for the bed in the front yard (needed some extra pop of color), and the cedar planks were in the sink, soaking away. We had the glaze mixed and ready to go. When the time came, the salmon and asparagus cooked beautifully and perfectly on their planks and the meal was wonderful. We sat outside, with our wine, salmon and Bogle Sauvignon Blanc, and dogs of course and basked in the serenity of the gardens and afternoon sun. Then my own special hell hit me with a ferocity that would make the Hulk blink.
You see I keep forgetting that salmon hates me or that my insides hate such a rich and fatty fish. I can eat it about once a year but no more and I already had my one salmon meal earlier in March. Oh the idiosyncrasies of my aging mind , yeay, that’s what I keep telling myself it is but really, I just wanted that darn salmon. It started ominously just a few hours later. A slight twinge and a “oh no, maybe it will pass” thought. But I knew I was not to be so lucky and by early evening, I was commode hugging, Bluto frat boy sick. I mean I haven’t been that nauseous since my college days of Old Frothingslosh and cemetery running. Don’t ask.
By 10:30pm I was actively praying to the gods of Bacchus or anyone else that would listen, to let me just die in my bed before I had to race back to the bathroom, hoping desperately to make it there in time for some more porcelain worshiping. Willow was hiding under the bed, watching with great fascination, Kirby was racing with me, thinking it was a game and Winston of course was sleeping off his bits of salmon. Oh to be a dog, eat some grass and go on about one’s business. And finally it passed, leaving me a wreck in the bed, and thinking “never again”. Sigh.
So that was the great salmon attack. But for those of you lucky enough to eat salmon with a nonchalance I admire, I have included the recipe at the end of the post. Try it out and let me know what you think. We used honey and it was delicious but the maple syrup would be great too.
So here is the week ahead in book reviews:
Monday, May 6: Fire Horse by Mickie B. Ashling
Tuesday, May 7: Leaving Home by T.A. Chase
Wed., May 8: Shy by John Inman
Thursday, May 9: The Hellfire Legacy by Missouri Dalton
Friday, May 10: His Heart To Reap by Erin Lane
Saturday, May 11: City Mouse by Amy Lane and Aleksandr Voinov
So there you have it. It looks to be a great week. Now if I can just stay away from those oysters……
Here is the Planked Salmon Recipe from Epicurious.com:
yield: Makes 6 servings
active time: 30 min
total time: 2 1/2 hr
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
2 tablespoons mild honey or pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon minced rosemary
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1 (2-pounds) salmon fillet with skin (1 1/2 inches thick)
Equipment: a cedar grilling plank (about 15 by 6 inches)
Soak cedar grilling plank in water to cover 2 hours, keeping it immersed.
Prepare grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-hot charcoal (medium-high heat for gas); see Grilling Procedure . Open vents on bottom and lid of charcoal grill.
Stir together mustard, honey, rosemary, zest, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Spread mixture on flesh side of salmon and let stand at room temperature 15 minutes.
Put salmon on plank, skin side down (if salmon is too wide for plank, fold in thinner side to fit). Grill, covered with lid, until salmon is just cooked through and edges are browned, 13 to 15 minutes. Let salmon stand on plank 5 minutes before serving.