The summer to me means more salads, fruits and fish. There’s something about the warmer weather and enjoying fish done on the grill. This weekend we try a friend’s dill cedar plank salmon, plus grilled corn with rosemary and salsa, roasted nuts and a summer classic, ice cream sandwiches.
Most barbeque Sundays start early in our house. To keep appetites sated until it is time to eat, we use the grill to our advantage, roasting some mixed nuts. Weber’s cookbook Smoke. A Guide to Smoke Cooking for Everyone and Any Grill is full of great main dish ideas, but it also has some wonderful starters too like Hickory Spiced Mixed Nuts.
Why put out a bowl of plain peanuts when you can smoke them and that’s what we did. Adding a little brown sugar, cumin and peanut oil, we coated the nuts, tossed them in a foil pan and set them on our grill at indirect medium heat. When they started to brown we took them off to cool. The kids loved these. They are a great snack for the kids while they playing a board game, like Hasbro’s new Monopoly Zapped. I love that this game uses the iPad (something we always have around) and there’s no cash to fiddle with – everything is done electronically with a Monopoly bank card. It was a great way to spend time together while we cooked the salmon.
Dill Cedar Plank Salmon on the Grill
Having never used planks on our barbeque before, I found Weber’s cookbook Smoke. A Guide to Smoke Cooking for Everyone and Any Grill offered some helpful tips:
- soak the plank in water for one hour
- place the soaked plank directly on the grill grate over direct medium heat and close the lid
- turn plank when it starts to smoke and char (about 5 to 10 minutes)
- after you’ve used the plank to cook on, you can break it to use for smoking another time. A great tip.
We have a friend who is a proficient griller — he actually turned us on to charcoal and wood cooking years ago — so it would make sence to use a recipe of his (or close to his) for our first attempt at grilling salmon on a plank:
1/2 cup (125 mL) mayonnaise
1/3 cup (75mL) Dijon mustard (we tried the President’s Choice Maple Mustard which is closer to a smoky versus a sweet mustard taste)
2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh dill (we have frozen fresh dill so we always have some on hand)
1/2 tsp (2 mL) finely grated lemon zest
1 cedar plank
1 large salmon fillet, deboned
Brush both sides of the salmon with a little olive oil and place facedown on the plank.
Wisk all the glaze ingredients together.
When the grill is ready (indirect medium-high heat), place the salmon on the plank and spread the glaze over the top of the salmon. I actually cut the salmon into serving sizes now but you can wait until after it’s cooked.
Place the plank in the center of the grill and close the lid. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. Cook time will vary depending on the thickness of your fillet.
It turned out great. The nice thing about the grilled salmon is using the leftovers on our homemade pizza cooked in our barbecue pizza oven (one of my favourite cooking tools). A new favourite topping of mine.
Grilled Rosemary Corn
Grilled corn is another summer barbecue favourite and a nice side with the salmon. The corn we usually have has been husked or partially husked so we end up grilling our corn in foil. If you have husk on your corn, you can use the husk in place of foil. In either case, you want to make sure all the silk has been removed (the fine hair found on corn). After removing what you can with your hand, try soaking your corn in water for a few minutes to loosen the rest of the silk.
Most times we just grill our corn with butter but this time we added some rosemary sprigs. You can use dried rosemary too. Melt the butter and coat the corn then add the rosemary. Wrap the corn up tight in foil or fold the husks back over the corn and place on the grill xxxxx
Along with the rosemary, we experimented with some chutney and salsas, spreading it all over the corn before wrapping up. These offered a nice sublte taste to the corn but the rosemary is by far my favourite treatment and so easy to do. I love how easy it is to add a different taste to your corn simply by using seasonings, herbs or even condiments you already have at home.
Slushies, for Adults and Kids
I love slushies. Not the concoctions you get at the variety store but ones you make at home using ice and your beverage of choice. The Hamilton Beach Ice Shaver makes slushie making even easier. I can make one large batch of limeade slushies for all the kids or individual drinks. Just add the liquid in the bottom, select Slushie, and add the ice. The kids loved the tiki collection of drinks, including limeade and President Choice Blood Orange Sparkling Soda. The Hamilton Beach Ice Shaver even enables you to shave frozen fruit, giving us limeade and strawberry slushies.
But slushies aren’t just for kids. I used Bacardi’s ready to drink Mojito as my liquid base to make an adult slushie. So tasty. The ice shaver is great even for just adding ice to your drinks (if you don’t want a huge ice cube).
Easy Ice Cream Sandwiches
Of course since it’s summer we can’t help but add dessert to our Sunday BBQ meals. The grilled bananas with ice cream we had last week were a huge hit, almost as popular as our extreme ice cream float. We love our ice cream so this time we made ice cream sandwiches. And sure I could have made the cookies and ice cream from scratch but I was too busy having fun with the kids. Instead I used President’s Choice Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk cookies (I love oatmeal cookies for ice cream sandwiches) and a scoop of Triple Chocolate ice cream.
One solid scoop with an ice cream scoop, I placed the ice cream on one cookie. I didn’t put the other cookie on until after I had added ice cream to all five sandwiches I was making (this allowed the ice cream to mellow a little, making it easier to press down). With the second cookie added, I slowly pressed them together and the result was a tasty (and super easy) ice cream treat.
After a full day outside and a full belly, we just hung around outside listening to music. Another successful Summer BBQ Sunday. What are you enjoying on the barbecue this weekend?