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Cedar Plank Salmon by Campground Gourmet

Hi, everyone. I’m Kate Dunbar, the Campground Gourmet for “RVing Today TV.” Today I’m showing you how to make a delicious and flavorful southwestern cedar planked salmon meal. We’re prepping it in the kitchen and taking it out on the grill in a few minutes.

So let’s get to the ingredients. I have two salmon fillets here, I have green and yellow bell pepper that I’ve thin-sliced in long strips, I have some onion, and I have some sliced garlic. I’ve made up a southwestern seasoning mix with two teaspoons of kosher salt, two teaspoons of black pepper, one teaspoon of chili powder, and one teaspoon of ground cumin. All you have to do is shake it together and place it in a bowl. I also have some chopped cilantro, and I’ve included using the stems too because they have a tremendous amount of flavor. And we’ve got a little bit of olive oil.

Let’s get this together. First, I want to season my salmon. I’m going to take the olive oil and just drizzle about a teaspoon or two over each fillet here, and you just want to rub it in. You sort of turn it over. It is skin on, and that’s perfect. All right. Now, with your clean hand, your non-oily hand, hold your hand up high, sprinkle the southwestern seasoning liberally over your fish ’cause you want it to get all over; and that ground cumin is going to give it such a rich smoky flavor that’s traditional in any southwestern cooking.

All right, let’s get the sides. Perfect. You don’t want to miss any spots. You don’t need to season the skin unless if you’re someone who does eat salmon skin. There are a couple of you that do, and some of you who don’t. So it’s fine. Now, I’m going to push that up to the front. We’re going to bring over our cedar plank. Now, I’ve soaked this in water for about 30 minutes and it’s ready to go, but we’re going to build a bed on here that the salmon is going to sit on. So as the salmon cooks and releases its beautiful flavors, it’s going to do that right into the vegetables. And then once the cedar wood starts to smoke, it’s going to perfume the onions, the bell pepper, and especially that salmon. So the easiest way to do this is take some of your bell peppers. Just place them on there. Take some of your onions. Place those on there. And then do another little layer in the opposite direction just so everything stays on your cedar plank here. One more layer of onion. Do that around the side and the center, and just kind of mound it together. Build it all there and then press down. Now, take your sliced garlic and add it all around. There we go. Take your olive oil, just do a little drizzle over your vegetables. Just a little, maybe a teaspoon or two. Okay, now you’re going to take your southwestern seasoning and you’re going to dust all the vegetables with it because you want them to have the same flavor that the salmon’s going to have. Maybe a quarter teaspoon, half a teaspoon at the most. All right, let’s push this off to the side. We’re done here. We’re going to take a little bit of that cilantro, sprinkle it over the top of the vegetable bed. Now we’re going to bring back our salmon. Let’s place these right on top here. Make certain to press it down so you know it’s making contact with the vegetables. It’s not going to fall off. Take a little bit of that cilantro, go over the top and, again, all over the vegetables.

All right. We’re ready to go take this outside to the grill. Okay, here we are. My grill is set up where I have some nice hot coals. There aren’t any flames, and that’s the trick when you’re cooking with cedar. You don’t want flames licking the bottom of this and starting it to char. You just want it to smolder for the heat. So if you’re at the campground, you want to make certain that you’re above the heat by about at least 6 inches. That ground is really, really hot, and all those coals are too. You just kind of want to lay them down, press them down so they’re not just peeking right underneath that cedar plank. Let’s take this, careful not to spill anything, and I’m going to place it right on the grill, put the lid on, and I’m going to make certain that the holes are right over that salmon. So as the air draws in from down underneath the grill, it’s going across the salmon and out the vent. This should take about 12 minutes. All right, it’s been about 12 minutes. Let’s take a peek at our salmon and see if it’s ready. Oh, it’s perfect. I can see the white on here. It started to get nice and toasty. Let me grab a bell pepper really quick. It’s got a great crunch; but it’s perfectly cooked, nice and warm all the way through. I think this is finished. So let me put this lid down, let me grab a set of tongs, and let’s see if I can lift this up in one piece without spilling anything. I’m going to have the side of the barbecue help me out here.

All right. Well, here we are at our table. Our salmon is finished. I’ve poured myself a really nice glass of Pinot Grigio, which will go perfect with all those warm spices: the cumin, the pepper, and the chili powder. And then I’ve got the onions, the bell pepper, and the garlic, and especially the fresh cilantro. Well, no better way than just to dig in and give it a try. Oh, that salmon looks perfect. All right, couple of vegetables. All right, let’s give it a taste. Oh, that salmon just flakes right off perfectly. That cedar smoke has just permeated the entire piece of salmon. It’s beautiful and it works so well with the ground cumin. And its smokiness, it’s the perfect compliment. Now, I know I already tried the vegetables over there at the grill, but I just want to try them again because there’s nothing better than a perfectly-smoked bell pepper that still has a little bit of bite to it and isn’t mushy, and that’s exactly what these are. Mmm, perfect. This is the way to eat when you’re at the campground. I’m Kate Dunbar, the Campground Gourmet. I’ll see you at the campfire.