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Barbecue Secrets

Jun 10, 2006

Hey, barbecue fans! Welcome to the first Barbecue Secrets video podast. A couple of weeks ago I was a guest on Vancouver's Global Morning News demonstrating plank cooking recipes from my new book, Planking Secrets. With the kind help of Sharron Bates of Global I'm re-broadcasting them on this podcast, and I'm posting the recipes from each show here on the podcast blog. This is the first of five segments.

Fred's Citrus Salmon with Sesame Mayo

Serves 6 to 8

Brian Misko is an enthusiastic barbecuer who recently took the plunge and started up a barbecue team, House of Q. Brian passed on this recipe, which he has cooked time and again for his family. "It was originally crafted after salmon fishing in Tofino with my in-laws," he says.  "I had never been fishing on the open ocean before, nor had Fred Kraus, my father-in-law.  Nonetheless, a nice side of salmon was decorated for the grill with whatever we had in the cabin." And they've cooked it that way ever since. "Serve with a wonderful fruity white wine and a salad and you have a nice west coast meal," says Brian.

1 alder or cedar cooking plank, soaked overnight or at least 1 hour
1 orange
1 lime
1 lemon
1 tsp./5 mL grated zest from the three fruits (optional)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced or pushed through a press
1/4 to 1/2 cup/50 to 125 mL olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 whole, boned fillet wild Pacific salmon (about 3 lb./1.5 kg), skin on

Squeeze the juice from the three fruits into a nonreactive dish like a lasagna pan. Reserve a few slices for garnish. Don't worry about pulp or seeds in the marinade - it all adds flavor.  Add the zest, if desired, and the garlic and oil.  The volume of oil depends on how big your piece of salmon is. A larger one will take a bit more oil. Whisk all the ingredients together and pour over the salmon.  Marinate for a minimum of 1 hour at room temperature.

Preheat the grill on medium-high for 5 or 10 minutes or until the chamber temperature rises above 500°F/260°C. Rinse the plank and place it on the cooking grate. Cover the grill and heat the plank for 4 or 5 minutes, or until it's starting to throw off a bit of smoke and crackling lightly. Reduce the heat to medium-low.

Remove the salmon from the marinade and season it with salt and pepper. Place it on the plank and cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until the fish has an internal temperature of 135°F/57°C. Halfway through the cooking time, spoon some of the marinade on top of the fish. When the salmon is done, serve it on the plank garnished with extra citrus slices.

Sesame Mayo

This is the perfect dip for roasted veggies, and it's also great tossed with rice noodles for a cool, creamy side to grilled Asian-flavored meats. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds for extra texture.
1 cup/250 mL mayonnaise
1 tsp./5 mL toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp./2 mL soy sauce (or to taste)
1 tsp./5 mL Chinese chili sauce or spicy Szechuan chili oil (or to taste)
1 tsp./5 mL grated or finely chopped fresh lemon, lime or orange rind
1 to 2 Tbsp./25 mL toasted sesame seeds (to taste)

Thoroughly mix all ingredients. Use immediately or refrigerate. If you're using store bought mayo, it will keep for a week in the fridge.

Rockin' Ronnie Shewchuk is the author of Planking Secrets: How to Grill with Wooden Planks for Unbeatable Barbecue Flavor, and Barbecue Secrets: Unbeatable Recipes, Tips & Tricks from a Barbecue Champion, published by Whitecap Books. Find him, and more recipes, at