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Jul 16 2012

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Cooking with Lavender – Part III

I’m including the main course and dessert in this last lavender cooking post. We tackled Grilled Salmon with Lavender for our protein of the evening. I was happy to see that Kim added cedar plank cooking to the recipe. Sweet! Glad I had already tried it… I asked her if she has ever been able to re-use a plank… her answer was no. So if you find planks on sale – I saw some this weekend… stock up! Lots of Summer and BBQ sales going on right now.

Kim purchased some amazing Copper River salmon – Alaska’s premiere wild salmon. The pieces were gorgeous! She did most of the pin bone removal, but I caught some stragglers with a pair of pliers. See? I learned something from my last post on salmon.

We got to work on the sauce we would be using on the salmon.

Ingredients:
4 Tablespoons Clover Honey
6 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Crushed Organic Culinary Lavender
1/4 Cup White Wine
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 Teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice

Directions:

  • Place all ingredients in a saucepan over moderate heat, stirring with a wire whisk at all times until ingredients are reduced by one third – you want the sauce to thicken.
  • When sauce has cooled slightly, brush on the salmon fillets.

We placed the salmon (skin side down) on the soaked cedar plank while getting the BBQ ready for grilling. I coated the salmon pieces with the sauce and brought them out to the BBQ that was set on high.

Total cooking time was about 20 minutes. I opened the BBQ lid at 10 minutes and coated with more sauce and then turned the heat down to low.

The plank was charred… however, the smell coming from the BBQ was wonderful.

I easily removed the skin before plating. The sauce was delicious, but I preferred the lemon and dill combination from my previous salmon post. Our sauce was a little too sweet and needed something to balance that out. Once I added salt to my salmon, I was a happy camper. The quality of the salmon was superb. Just last night I grilled salmon (Yes, I’m a little obsessed now) using a soy sauce, dijon mustard, olive oil and garlic marinade and something about the salmon was off. the marinade was perfect, the piece of fish I got was definitely not Copper River… and rather than eating a bunch of “not so top notch” salmon, I’d rather occasionaly splurge on the good stuff. Lesson learned. I’m really sticking to my grocery budget – so far so good for the month of July.

Now for dessert. Chocolate Lavender Brownies were on the menu for the evening. Marnie and Jaime got to work on the ingredients while the rest of us enjoyed our cocktails.

The Ingredients:
1 Teaspoon Dried Culinary Lavender Buds
3 Cups Sugar
1 3/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
3/4 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Instant Espresso Powder or Instant Coffee Powder
3 Sticks Unsalted Butter
4 Large Eggs
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 13 x 9 Inch baking dish.
  • Place the lavender in a spice grinder with one tablespoon of the sugar. Pulse until the lavender is finely ground. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Add flour, cocoa, salt, espresso and the remaining ingredients, mix well.
  • Place the butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high power for one minute at a time until melted.  Let cool for a few minutes and then whisk in the eggs and vanilla.
  • Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet mixture. Using a wooden spoon, mix until just combined.
  • Pour into prepared pan and smooth the top.
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.

The verdict… So much butter… while the flavor was amazing, I couldn’t get over how greasy they were. I would definitely dial back the amount of butter. Trust me, it didn’t stop any of us from mowing through our pieces… but man were they rich. I did indeed taste a hint of the lavender and I liked it a lot. Next time I might even add a little more.Super moist and chewy for sure.

I can’t say enough about how much fun I had during the entire lavender cooking experience. Cooking with a group of friends leads to great discussion and sharing of ideas. I’m excited to get started on planning the menu for when I host. I’m definitely going with a “corn” theme as I’ve recieved a lot of great ideas from readers and it seems to be featured in food magazines this month. We also threw around the idea of incorporating a book into our themes… Children of the Corn is out… ha! ha! – still on the search for one. I just ordered several culinary themed novels, so we’ll see.

Thanks for following along the past few posts and I promise, non lavender posts are headed your way.

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1 comment

  1. jess

    I’m not a huge salmon eater, but I have made it on cedar planks before — and never been able to reuse the planks. A tip — burn them in the firepit later. Smells amazing. 🙂

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