Northwest NEWS

June 26, 2000

Home & Garden

Dining In: Celebrate the Fourth with great taste

Fourth of July Cedar Planked Salmon with Cucumber Sauce

Cucumber Sauce:
   1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch dice
   1 bunch scallions, trimmed and minced
   1/3 c. minced fresh dill
   1-1/2 c. creme fraiche or sour cream
   Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
   2 9x15-inch untreated cedar planks (1-inch thick), soaked in water for at least 2 hours
   2 salmon fillets, 1-1/2 lbs each
   4 Tbsp. lemon juice
   4 Tbsp. olive oil
   Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

   Combine cucumber, scallions, and dill in a small mixing bowl. Gently fold in creme fraiche and season with salt and pepper. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. Remove the cedar planks from water and shake to remove excess water. Heat the planks on cooking grate over medium heat until hot, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from grill and place on heat-safe surface. Put a salmon fillet on top of each plank and drizzle 2 Tbsp. each of lemon juice and olive oil over the top of each fillet. Season them with salt and pepper. Return to cooking grate and grill until the salmon is just cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes. Cut the salmon fillets into individual servings. Top each with a generous dollop of cucumber sauce and serve at once. Makes 6 servings.

Marinated Sirloin

Marinated Sirloin and Asparagus

   1 boneless beef top sirloin steak, cut 1 in. thick
   1 lb. fresh asparagus, trimmed
   1/2 tsp. salt
   1/8 tsp. pepper
Balsamic Marinade:
   1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
   2 Tbsp. olive oil
   1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
   1-1/2 Tsp. Dijon mustard
   1 clove garlic, crushed
   1/2 tsp. sugar

   In small bowl, combine marinade ingredients. Place steak and 1/3 c. marinade in food-safe plastic bag; turn steak to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 15 minutes to 2 hours, turning occasionally. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, bring 1 inch of water to a boil; add asparagus. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain. In shallow dish, combine asparagus and reserved marinade; turn to coat. Set aside. Remove steak from marinade; discard marinade. Place steak on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, uncovered, 17 to 21 minutes for medium rare to medium doneness, turning often. During last 3 minutes of grilling, arrange asparagus on grid around steak. Grill 3 minutes, turning once. Season steak and asparagus with salt and pepper. Carve steak crosswise into slices; serve with asparagus. Makes 4 servings.

Corn On the Cob with Mexican Butter

   8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
   1-1/2 tsp. dried oregano
   1/2 tsp. ground cumin
   2-1/2 Tbsp. minced fresh cilantro
   12 ears corn, husked
   2 to 3 Tbsp. olive oil
   Lime wedges

   In a small mixing bowl, mix together the butter, chili powder, oregano, cumin, and cilantro. It should be soft, but not melted. Set aside at room temperature. Brush the ears of corn lightly all over with olive oil. Place on cooking grate and grill, turning occasionally, until the kernels are lightly browned and blistered all over, about 8 to 10 minutes. Brush the Mexican butter on each ear of corn and sprinkle with salt to taste. Serve immediately, accompanied by lime wedges for squeezing on the corn. Makes 12 ears.

Kahlua Soaked Berries with Toasted Pound Cake

   1 pint blueberries
   1 pint raspberries
   1 c. Kahlua
   1 lb. cake, or angel food cake, thawed or frozen

   Wash the blueberries and pick out any stems or unripe berries. In a medium-sized plastic bowl, place all the berries and the Kahlua. Let them soak for at least 1 hour. Slice the cake into six or more 1-inch slices and brush them with some of the Kahlua. Toast under a broiler or in a toaster oven until golden brown. Serve the berries over the pound cake. A dollop of sour cream is a great accompaniment, if your picnic includes a cooler. Makes 6 servings.