Planked Salmon has been increasingly popular in the last few years, the smoky flavor are wonderful, well this dish takes the presentation and the flavor to a whole new level. Originally I did this presentation at our restaurant, Lehr’s Greenhouse pan roasted or poached. This definitely would not work out directly on the grill. So, I was playing around with one order of salmon and one of halibut, a cedar plank and here you go. Please enjoy this and watch reaction when you serve this!
Salmon is a natural for this, you could mix types of salmon too. Ivory salmon would be very nice. Hard to find though, but fish with a fairly high oil content are best. I like to garnish with some shrimp too, in the shell. That smoky flavor is nice with them too.
2 six to eight ounce cuts of fresh salmon, or a one pound piece of salmon
2 six to eight ounce cuts of fresh halibut filet or a one pound piece of halibut
8 jumbo shrimp, I like shell on with the shell split to clean them, or peeled and cleaned
your favorite spice rub, can be the great rub from the Cedar plank salmon recipe, Blackened Spice or Randy’s red rub. Your preference!
1 lemon thinly sliced 1/4 inch thick, then quartered
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 cedar planks depending on the size. Soaked for two hours in water
Cut the salmon and halibut into strips, around 3/4 of an inch wide and five to six inches long.
Time to decide if you are making individual braids or large ones. Individuals are easier to plate up without damaging them when cutting them. However, if you are doing a family or buffet style, the big braids are showy!
Check out the video for an overview of the process of the braid.
Lay out one of the fish with three strips in a vertical pattern, then braid through the other type of fish on the horizontal. Repeat.
Make a nice hot fire, I really like charcoal for this dish. The coals should be nice an even to cover under the plank. If cooking on gas, get the grill nice and hot, max heat
Place on the fish on the plank(s), top with the lemon slices and place the plank on the grill cover the grill. Depending on the heat and the thickness of the salmon and halibut the time can be from 12-17 minutes to medium. There is no need to turn the fish and it would ruin the presentation. You can move the plank around if need be.
Check back after a few minute to make sure that your plank has not caught fire, especially those who try to cut corners and not soak their plank well.
When the salmon is done slide the plank on top of a plate, pan or another plank to carry. Allow to cool for a minute or two on a heat proof surface.
Carefully move the braids to the plates, top with chipotle Hollandaise.
Chipotle Hollandaise Sauce
Make this sauce before planking your fish.
The base for this sauce is what I call “Cheater’s Hollandaise” because it is not using the classic method of whipping the egg yolks over a hot water bath and slowly incorporating the butter. In this recipe we will use a blender and make this really easy. It is not as good as the traditional method, but is within the realm of must people time and experience level. I highly encourage you to make a traditional Hollandaise or Béarnaise Sauce, when you have time.
Please note, these sauces contain uncooked Egg. They cannot be held for long period of time, and cannot be reheated or reused later. They should be made just before serving and discarded afterwards.
2 egg yolks
½ teaspoon Salt
1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice fresh
¼ pound unsalted butter
1 tablespoon chopped canned chipotle chile in adobo (or less if you don’t like a lot of heat
Place the butter in a sauce pan and melt the butter, take it just to starting to bubble, do not let it start to brown.
Most blenders have a removable center in the lid, remove that center.
Place egg yolks, salt, cayenne and lemon juice in blender. Start the blender on a lower setting with the center removed. When the yolks get light colored, start pouring in the butter in a thin stream, half the size of a pencil. It should take a couple of minutes to pour it in. Once it is all in stop the blender, scrap down the sides and run it for a couple of more seconds.
This is now Hollandaise Sauce. If you just want Hollandaise, taste and adjust the lemon and Salt.
Top the braid with the sauce. Arrange the shrimp around the braids. I served this with a Ancho chile rice, or any nice pilaf.
For wine with this, a nice big oaky chardonay or check out the outstanding white blend of marsanne and viognier from Treana Winery.