Resting on a cedar bed, cushioned with fresh dill and green onions, this maple mustard glazed salmon was my most memorable summer meal yet.
When you are a food lover, eating experiences are filled with emotion. This meal was amplified by some peacock, chest-puffing pride. You see, I caught this salmon out of Lake Michigan on Saturday evening and cooked it on Sunday. The truth is, my friend Dave “caught” the fish by knowing exactly what lures, colors, lines and trinkets needed to be on the end of his fishing poles. But, I spotted the pole as it bent once, then twice, made the call, “Fish On!” and then reeled him in.
I believe I may have been a fisherman in a past life. My Dad is much more of an academic than a sportsman. I’m not sure if he even owns a hammer, let alone fishing gear. We did take half day fishing trips during Florida vacations and my grandpa took me out a few times as a kid but not enough to explain my extreme love of the sport I know so little about. Every time I have a chance to fish, I am filled with childlike excitement.
Lucky me… my friend Dave not only loves to fish but also has a boat on Lake Michigan in Chicago. We enjoyed an evening fishing excursion on the most beautiful summer evening. Though a thunderstorm was promised, it passed south and we were treated to a gorgeous sunset while floating and awaiting nibbles from below.
Due to my extreme excitement, my senses were piqued and I was the first to identify a quivering rod. I cranked the reel and brought up a fish that I thought was of notable size. The other ladies with us were equally impressed though Dave quietly admitted it was one of the smaller catches he’s had this season. The fish was big enough to provide a few good fillets, which was all that mattered to me.
When darkness set in, we pulled in the lines and decided to catch the Saturday night fireworks at Navy Pier. It took us some time to go from our fishing location to the pier. As we cruised along the smooth water with the warm summer wind in our faces, I was reminded why we live in Chicago. Now and then, we enjoy an amazing day or experience and our tanks of patience and stamina are refilled so that we may endure the hassles of this city: bad winters, nearly nonexistent spring, big city traffic.
Dozens of boats bobbed just offshore along the skyline, awaiting the colorful fireworks display. In the company of good friends, I leaned against my husband, looked up at the sky and pondered how I would prepare my fresh catch. These are the dreams summer is made of.
Cedar Planked Salmon with Maple Mustard Glaze
1 large Salmon fillet(s), preferably skin on
2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon pure maple syrup
salt and pepper
Chives or dill for garnish
Soak your untreated cedar plank in water for 15 minutes. Preheat your grill. Wash your fish and pat it dry. Remove bones if needed. Place fresh dill and green onions on the soaked cedar plank. Lay the fish, skin side down, on top of the greens. Season with salt and pepper. Stir together mustard and syrup and brush it over the fish.
Grill the fish (or bake in 350 degree oven) for about 10-15 minutes or until fish is flaky and done. Top with fresh dill or chives.