On a cold, drizzly afternoon in early June, I had the perfect simple summer dinner: cedar plank salmon, grilled bread, a green salad tossed with warm mushrooms and goat cheese, and blueberry crisp fresh from the oven. This is a perfect meal for a beach, a lawn, or a deck, but it was delicious in this cozy Gloucester kitchen beneath cold, gray skies.
Elin DiAngelo prepared this gorgeous meal in her snug antique home. Both Swedish and Finnish, Elin grew up in Lanesville. Her family, The Af Klintebergs, have been running the Knead-Dough Bakery, specializing in Finnish Nisu and Anadama breads, for forty years. (We hope there is soon good news to tell of the Knead-Dough Bakery, but that’s another story -) A tall, vibrant blond, Elin grew up eating pickled herring, dancing in Swedish Folk dances in Gloucester’s 4th of July Parade, counting the smorgasborg’s dishes on her family’s table, and then sailed away – literally on a ketch in Mexico – from Gloucester for ten years or so. She eventually returned with her powerful domestic and culinary style, and now lives in Bayview. She rows, instead of sails. (Elin rowed in the Nova Scotia International Dory Races the morning of her wedding in 2002.) At one point in the evening, as I stood in the kitchen and watched Elin prepare the salmon marinade, she reached for one of her hand-knitted dish towels, and told me her family calls her the Martha Stewart of Lanesville.
This menu is deep in flavors, has a short, simple list of ingredients, and can be prepared with everyone standing around a kitchen – and then the grill – drinking wine and Sangria together, as we did.
Elin’s neighbor, Karen McBain and husband came by with their daughter and a freshly stirred-up pitcher of Sangria. The kids played. Elin’s funny Japanese dog begged for carrots from the refrigerator. A flock of neighborhood chickens visited for a while.
If the photos don’t say how delicious this salmon is, I declare it one of the moistest, most flavorful preparations I’ve had. Elin says it’s her favorite. The out-of-the-pan mushrooms tossed in balsamic vinegar softened the goat cheese, naturally making a warm dressing for the tender greens. Easy, delicious and surprising. Elin’s blueberry crisp warm from the oven is a classic beauty.
Elin’s Cedar Planked Salmon with Braggs and Ginger
2 pounds salmon fillet, whole
Soy Ginger Glaze:
2 T olive oil
2 T Braggs amino acids (or soy sauce)
3 T chardonnay, bourbon or whiskey
2 t fresh ginger, minced
2 T brown sugar
Freshly ground pepper & salt to taste
1 T lemon juice
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except salmon , and blend thoroughly.
Inspect and remove any pin bones from salmon.
In a large shallow pan (I use a sheet pan) pour maranide and place salmon flesh side down. Marinate for 15-20 min
Set fish aside while barbecue heats to medium hot or about 400°F.
After soaking plank for at least 1 hour but preferably overnight, place salmon skin side down on plank and place on grill and replace cover.
Hot smoke fish for 10 to 20 minutes or until done.
Warm Mushroom Salad
4 cups mesclun greens
2 cups mushrooms (sliced)
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
salt and pepper
2 T. balsamic vinegar
1-2 T. olive oil
Heat olive oil in a skillet over med high heat. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper.
Add 1/4 c. water and cover mushrooms to sweat for 5 min. Remove cover and cook off liquid. Add 2 tbs balsamic vinegar cook until liquid gone.
Put the greens, goat cheese and warm mushrooms in a bowl and toss. Serve immediately.
There is no need for dressing as mushrooms have lots of flavor.
1/4 lb soft butter
1/2-2/3 c brown sugar
1/4 c flour
2-3 c rolled oats
1 tbs cinnamon
3 pints fresh blueberries
Cream soft butter and brown sugar in mixing bowl. Add flour and cinnamon. Add oats and mix until crumbs form. Place rinsed blueberries in a baking dish and cover with oat crumbs
Bake at 350 for 30 min. or until bubbly. Serve with ice cream.