Month: April 2011

Olive Tapenade with Goat Cheese Crostini

Olive Tapenade with Goat Cheese Crostini

I am a sucker when it comes to olives. Simply put, I like them a lot. Olives have that perfect salty and briney flavor that goes perfect with certain dishes. I typically only have olives around the holidays for some odd reason, or used in…

Pizza: Garlic Cream Sauce

Pizza: Garlic Cream Sauce

It was about three months ago when I picked up my wife for a quick lunch. We often do not get out to lunch due to our busy schedules, and when we do, we are often (at least I am) checking our phone and directing…

Salmon Salad

Salmon Salad

It was only a couple of weeks ago when I surprised my wife with a dinner of cedar smoked salmon. I must admit, the salmon was really delicious and it was a nice twist on the standard Friday night fish fry that we typically have in Milwaukee. Surprisingly enough, we had plenty of leftovers, and if you are like me, I tend to not let leftovers go to waste. Instead, I like to challenge myself and come up with a completely new dish from the previous night’s dinner.

In this case, salmon salad. I knew my wife loved simple Saturday lunches like chicken salad sandwiches, as well as the common tuna salad from time to time. It is not often that I make these types of salad sandwiches, if you will, but when you have leftovers like tuna, chicken, or heck, salmon, they do make for a quick and satisfying lunch. This salmon salad creation actually was super delicious, and wanted me to make another cedar smoked salmon the next day! It was just that good.

Salmon Salad Recipe

Lets get started on something on a salad that is really easy and more importantly, really delicious.


  • 2 cups of boneless, cooked salmon
  • 1 dill pickle, chopped
  • 2 tbsp shallot, finely diced
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh Italian leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 rib of celery, diced
  • Toasted white bread or crackers

Take all of your ingredients and place them into a small mixing bowl. Make sure you incorporate all of the ingredients and that they lightly “stick” together from the mayonnaise. You do not want this salad to be thickened by mayonnaise, just a light mixture.

If you have molding rings, place a ring onto a serving plate, place some of the mixture into the ring to fill, and remove the ring. Serve with toasted white bread. Spread on the bread and dig in.

Simple and delicious. I hope you enjoy.

Shrimp and Grits with a Chipotle Drizzle

Shrimp and Grits with a Chipotle Drizzle

Shrimp and grits have been on my mind for a very long time now. I have no idea why, or what has made the thought stick in the back of my head, but it has been there for a very long time. This past weekend,…

Crispy Pork Belly

Crispy Pork Belly

It was not too long ago when a new Asian market opened up a few miles from our house, and as always, I was pretty darn excited. Granted the distance was the same to this new store as it would have been to any other…

Cedar Planked Salmon

Cedar Planked Salmon

The question comes about almost every Friday, well almost every day in my house, “What should we have for dinner tonight?”.  I will admit as much as I love being up for a challenge every night, waiting for my wife to come up with something out of the ordinary, a challenge if you will, that it some times is challenging in the sense that I am just too darned tired to whip up a nice sit down dinner that the entire family can enjoy. We used to be better planners. We would map out the week, including leftovers for lunches, and this helped, but at the same time got a little boring for me as I knew what we were having that day. I was not surprised. I guess, after all, I like surprises.

But Friday’s, the question is always there. What should we have for dinner? We often debate whether or not to go out for a fish fry. The fish fry in Milwaukee, is a big deal, but I have been honest since I have started this site, in saying that I have not been impressed with many of the Milwaukee fish fry’s, so I have been making my own. Fish is a big deal on Friday in Milwaukee, especially during Lent, but instead of making my own fish fry as I typically do, and as all of the kids love it, I decided to come up with something different, and something we do not typically eat on Friday. Salmon, cooked on a cedar plank.

Cedar Planked Salmon Recipe

Our local supermarket has a pretty good selection of seafood, however one of my favorite seafood providers in the Milwaukee area is Empire Fish. Not having the time to drive to Empire Fish, I quickly decided use my local market and pick up a nice fillet of salmon, free of bones. I have also been wanting to use some cedar planks I bought off of Woot about six months ago, that I thought this would just be a perfect dish on a Friday night.

Let’s get started.

  • 2 lbs of salmon, skin on, bones removed
  • 2 cedar planks, or a large enough cedar plank for the length of the salmon
  • water for the planks
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 3 tbsp of dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • New potatoes, cooked, and tossed with light olive oil, salt and pepper and dill (optional)
  • Simple salad (optional)

Begin by submerging your cedar planks for about 2 hours in water. You should have enough water to completely cover the planks.

About 30 minutes before you are ready to cook the fish, light your grill and get it nice and hot.

Prepare your fish by generously seasoning the fish on both sides with salt and pepper. To the flesh side of the fish, rub in the dijon mustard. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top of the mustard, and then drizzle the honey over the flesh.

If you are using charcoals, push the heated coals to one side, and if you are using gas, lower one side of the grill’s burner. The goal is to cook on indirect heat for this recipe.

Add the salmon fillet to the plank(s). Place the planks onto the grill, cover, and let sit and cook for about 10 minutes. Check the planks and make sure they are not on fire. If this is your first time cooking with planks, just keep an eye on them. If they begin to light up, mist with some water, but do not be scared if the planks begin to get nice and dark. That is the goal. You want to infuse the cedar smoke into the salmon. Continue cooking the salmon fillet for another five minutes or so. Your total cook time is around 15 minutes, or if you have a meat thermometer, poke it and reach around 135-140 degrees in the thickest part of the salmon.

Cedar Planked Salmon on the Grill Recipe

When you are ready to serve, lay something onto the bottom of your table and place the whole cedar plank and fish on top. This gives a really nice presentation. Cut into servings, and serve with some nice cooked potatoes, and a light salad.

A perfect surprise for my wife and a nice twist on our standard Friday night. Enjoy.

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