my ingredients to life....

my ingredients to life...
this blog is to share recent happenings, our culinary feats, knitting creations, stories of travels, and just updates of our lives in general. i believe that the small parts of each day inbetween the clock in and clock out, commute and the few precious hours of sleep really are the key components to a happy life. i am truely blessed, no complaints.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Cedar plank salmon with tomato basil relish over grilled squash and polenta

So I can't take full credit for this dinner, but I definitely made it my own. One of the clinics I interviewed with took me out for dinner at a restaurant called Turkey Red in Palmer, Alaska. It's a organic, wholesome ingredient restuarant with some amazing dishes. I had pan-seared salmon over plain poleta with grilled asaragus and the tomota relish. I think mine was better! Justin agreed, but he wasn't there for the first one. :D

This was dinner tonight - sooo good!

Cedar Plank Salmon
I bought a wild pink salmon 1lb filet and cooked it over a cedar plank for flavor.
  • 1 cedar plank (6 by 14 inches)
  • 1 - 1 1/2 pound salmon filet (my preference is wild, not farm-raised)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil 
Soak the cedar plank for at least 4 hours, I did overnight in a shallow baking pan. Rinse the salmon then pat dry. Place on plank and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Prepare the sauce in a bowl, then when it is ready for the oven, gently brush half the sauce over the fish. Bake at 350' for about 10 minutes, depending on how thick your salmon is. I brush the rest of the sauce on about half way through cooking. Once the fat looks white and it flakes with a fork it's done!

I topped it with tomato basil relish. 1 1/2 vine tomatoes diced, about 1/4 cup minced red onion, 2 Tbsp fresh basil chopped, and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I prepare this ahead of time for the juices to mix and soften the onion flavor.

Spicy, cheesy polenta
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups quick polenta
  • 1 teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
Boil the water and salt, then slowly whisk in the grits. Stir constantly about 3 minutes, then add the seasoning, butter, and cheese. Take off the heat and finish stirring. Generously butter a dish (something shallow enough you can cut and serve the polenta) and pour into the dish. I used a glass pie dish that I could put back into the oven to stay warm while the salmon was cooking. I'm not talented enough to have everything finish together all at the same time!

Yellow squash and zucchini - I just sauteed these with some olive oil in a large skillet for about 15 minutes. Gentle sprinkle of black pepper. No salt needed.
Greens - I tossed the baby romaine in a little olive oil, lemon juice, and red wine vinegar. I would have added some slivered almonds or feta, but we didn't have any and I didn't think that far ahead.... next time.


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