Cooking food on a cedar plank is a method adapted from the First Nations peoples, and quite popular here on the West Coast. All you need is a piece of kiln dried, untreated cedar and you are good to go. It's not unusual for us here on the Coast to find ready made cedar planks at the store in the seafood section, complete with recipes for preparing salmon.
This recipe is really delicious-the flavors are just incredible, and as it cooked in the oven both Kevin and John, who doesn't even like salmon, both wandered in and peered in the oven. I used to think that cedar planked salmon could only be cooked on a barbecue, but you can adapt recipes for the standard oven with a lot of success. The only thing that you must do is soak the cedar plank in clean, cold water for at least 2 hours before starting. This keeps your plank from drying out and burning too much.
When I made this, I didn't read the recipe correctly and used fresh cilantro instead of ground coriander. It added a lot of color and flavor, so go with whichever works for you!
Adapted from Food Network Magazine
one 2-3 lb skin on, center cut salmon filet, about 1 1/2 inches thick
2 tsp ground coriander
salt and pepper
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
one 2 inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp unsalted butter
Pre-heat the oven to 425 F
Sprinkle salt, pepper, and coriander over the filet of salmon and let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm up the maple syrup, ginger, lemon zest, and butter until it thickens up a little. It takes about 5 minutes or so, and don't leave-make sure to stir it lots! Once it's ready, remove it from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, then set aside.
Take your cedar plank from the water and put it on the middle rack in your oven, letting it heat up for about 15 minutes. Remove the plank from the oven with oven mitts or tongs, then set the filet of salmon on it, skin side down. Brush the salmon with some of the glaze and return the plank to the oven. Put a cookie sheet on the rack underneath the plank to catch any drips.
Cook the salmon about 12 minutes, until firm. You have to be careful with fish, you don't want to over cook. When it flakes easily and is opaque in the middle, it is ready.
Remove the plank from the oven and turn the oven to broil. Brush more of the glaze on the fish, and return to the oven for 2-3 more minutes so that it can caramelize and become golden. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for another 5 minutes before serving.
Makes 6-8 servings