Cedar Planked Salmon with Artichokes, Olives, Sun Dried Tomatoes & Roasted Red Peppers

Time is flying by and it’s hard to believe that Labor Day is this Monday, it’s the last unofficial weekend of summer. I know there will still be hot days (I hope) left and I have yet to go down the shore! I love it after the season, when the boardwalk is almost empty and the feeling of fall is in the air. Labor Day is always a little bittersweet but this meal will help the transition. ;) Enjoy this meal by candlelight, while relaxing outdoors as a late summer breeze passes by, as you savor the last bits of summertime. This is enough for 2 to 3 people to share. Have a great weekend and Labor Day! :)

  • 1 pound salmon, skin left on, in one piece
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2 cup marinated artichoke halves, *rinsed if needed
  • about 6 sun dried tomato halves, ripped into pieces
  • 1 heaping tablespoon pitted oil cured olives
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed and roughly minced
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fire roasted red pepper plus about about 1 pepper, cut into halves, about 3-4 pieces
  • a few leaves rosemary leaves, minced
  • fresh ground pepper
  • sea salt
  • (1) 11×7 cedar plank, (one that will fit the salmon, usually they have them by the seafood dept)

To start, soak your cedar plank for over an hour. In the meantime, melt the butter and olive oil on low heat and add the garlic. Saute until the garlic is soft, add in the artichokes, olives, sun dried tomatoes, 2 tablespoons of the red pepper and a few rosemary leaves minced, season with sea salt and ground black pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes until heated through and set aside, keeping them warm.  Heat up your grill to about 550 degrees, place your plank on the grill for about 3 minutes, pull it off and flip the plank. Drizzle a little olive oil on the grilled side and place your red pepper halves on it. On top of the red pepper place your salmon, skin side down and drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Place on the grill and grill for about 8 minutes. Keep an eye on it, as mine began to burn, so definitely keep a spray bottle nearby!    Please wear gloves to protect your hands and handle with a sturdy pair of tongs. The cooking time really depends on the thickness of the fish, so test with a fork to check for doneness. After the 8 minutes, top with half of the veggies and grill for another 7 minutes or so, keeping an eye on it. Once it’s done, add the rest of the veggies on top.

I served the salmon with corn grits but buttered garlicky orzo or polenta would be great with this also. To make the corn grits you need:

  • 1/2 cup stone ground white corn grits
  • 1 cup chicken stock, *water works fine
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter  
  • sea salt 
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • minced fresh rosemary leaves

Bring the chicken stock, water, butter and sea salt to a boil on high heat. Slowly add in the grits and lower the heat stirring often, for about 8 minutes. The recommended cooking time is 15-20 minutes but found they cooked quickly, so test them. Once they are to your liking, add in the heavy cream, ground pepper and a few minced leaves of rosemary. Garnish with fresh rosemary leaves. Enjoy!


Shrimp & Grits

This isn’t really the traditional shrimp and grits recipe with bacon and green pepper sauteed with the shrimp, this is more of a shrimp scampi and grits. And the grits have Parmesan and ricotta cheeses folded in it instead of the Cheddar cheese. I know, I know I am typing as fast as I can so you get the ingredients you need to make this tonight, lol. It’s really good especially when the wine and butter garlic sauce meets the cheesy grits on your fork! What’s good about this dish is it’s quick enough for dinner when you are in a rush and nice enough for company, especially when paired with a caesar salad with chunky croutons and a flourless chocolate torte for dessert. Enjoy!

  • 1 pound shelled and deveined shrimp
  • 7 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Moscato wine
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup stone ground corn grits
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1.2 cup ricotta cheese
  • freshly ground pepper
  • sea salt

In a dutch oven, saute the garlic, 1 tablespoon butter and the olive oil. Heat this on low heat, stirring often and make sure you don’t burn it. Once your garlic is soft, stir in the shrimp until it turns pink around the edges. This happens quickly. Next add in the wine and let it come to a boil and flip the shrimp over. Increase the heat and add in the parsley and one tablespoon of butter. Stir and make sure the biggest piece of shrimp is cooked through and opaque. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Meanwhile, you can make the grits according to package. Once they are done, keep the heat on low and stir in one tablespoon of butter, the Parmesan and ricotta cheeses. Season with salt and pepper according to taste. This serves about 4 people. Spoon the shrimp alongside the grits with lots of wine butter sauce. Serve with fresh ground pepper.