This is one of my favorite meals. Simple grilled salmon and a sauté of bok choy and shitake mushrooms. The bok choy and mushrooms seem made for each other! As you know, my suggestions of salmon for dinner don’t always go over very well. Since Dave is really busy painting the outside of the house, we did not engage in the “what’s for dinner” conversation. I took it upon myself to decide, shop and cook while he painted away!
for the Baby Bok Choy and Shitake Mushroom Sauté
3/4 pound of shitake mushrooms
6 small baby bok choy
4-5 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 cup diced onion
2-4 Tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 cup dry vermouth
salt and pepper
optional: add minced ginger with the garlic and onion, and garnish with soy sauce, for a more Asian style sauté
Slice the mushrooms, dice the onion and mince the garlic. Warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan. Cook the onion and garlic until soft and translucent. Add the mushrooms and sauté until lightly browned and softened. You may need to add a little more olive oil. Add the vermouth and place the bok choy on top of the mushrooms in the pan. Steam for about 10 minutes until the bok choy is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. I tried a little experiment by placing the bok choy on the grill for a moment. I wanted to impart a little of the smokiness that the cedar would add to the salmon. It worked and gave the bok choy a nice char color.
for the Cedar Planked Salmon
1 culinary grade cedar plank, soaked at least two hours in water
(No Jeff, you cannot use the left over shingles. They may have been treated with chemicals!)
1 filet of salmon – a little over a pound
salt and pepper
lemon for garnish
Place the plank in a sheet pan filled with water and place a weight on the plank to keep it submerged. Let it soak at least two hours. We had a friend who did not soak the plank first. He placed his fish on the plank and the plank on the grill, put the lid down, set his watch for 10 minutes and came back to a fully engulfed fish fire! It is a good idea to keep a spray bottle close by in case a small fire erupts. And in case you were wondering, you cannot reuse the planks!
One of Dave’s biggest objections to fish is discovering bones mid-meal. I remove the pin bones with tweezers, it takes just a minute and makes for a more pleasant dining experience. It also takes the worry out of sharing the leftovers with our very spoiled cat and dogs.
I do not like to do very much to a beautiful piece of salmon, other than add a little olive oil, coarse salt and pepper. Place the salmon on the pre-soaked plank, season as you choose. Place on a hot grill, keeping a close eye for little fires. This piece of fish was about 3/4 of an inch thick and was completely done in 8 minutes, on a very hot (450′) grill. We served it with a little lemon and the sautéed bok choy and mushrooms.