Tailgate correspondent Nick Herger was on vacation last week but his cedar plank salmon was too good to be missed and that includes on the blog. With Lions back to their losing ways, we reflect back on the tailgate that produced the first win of the season.
On the West Coast everything goes at a different pace. From Starbucks to yoga to a morning run in the rainforest, we left coasters offer up something different to this great union of Canada. It’s just the way it is in Lotus Land and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We have bike lanes and totem poles and this is where the Salmon runs.
We all gather at Empire Field as part of the Tailgate Empire to celebrate our passion for food and Canadian Football. With the Roughriders in town there is always a bit of extra buzz attached to the game. There are usually some watermelon helmets and a couple thousand Rider fans that find their way into the Lions’ den.
This week we really came to play. The football club really needed a win and the Empire really needed to change things up. We did Rib Steaks, Fall off the Bone Ribs, and a Prime Rib Roast in the first three weeks of the season and something different needed to happen. Something West Coast!!
This week’s menu consisted of a Cedar Plank Sockeye Salmon with a Neptune Sauce, a Tomato and Bocconcini Salad, a Pasta Salad and some Focaccia Bread with Balsamic. I had help from Sue. It was her first trip to the Tailgate Empire and she had a ton of fun!
First with the Cedar Plank we need to make sure it soaks thoroughly. We put ours at the bottom of the cooler for about 4 hours. It should have soaked a bit longer but it worked out just fine. We placed the Salmon filet on the cedar planks and then added the Neptune sauce. The Neptune consists of a can of crab meat, a brick of cream cheese, a tablespoon of mayo, some lemon juice, some Worcestershire sauce, and a bunch of scallions chopped up. We then spread the Neptune evenly over the fish. This sauce will heat up and melt into the fish. An absolutely great combo of flavors!! The fish can then be put on a hot bbq and grilled for 25-30 minutes. Be sure to keep a spray bottle of water handy for any flare ups. We want the cedar plank to burn, but not so much that it burns the fish.
The Tomato and Bocconcini Salad is a great idea for an appetizer. They are served on toothpicks with a piece of fresh Basil on a plate of Balsamic Vinegar which has a great presentation and is very practical. The flavors are very complimentary and fresh!
We also served up a nice pasta salad. Made of pasta of your choice, vegetables of your choosing, some feta cheese and an oil and vinegar based dressing. You can change it up based on the season as well as what main dish you are serving.
We tried to go West Coast on this one. A very fresh meal served up in Lot 9 of Empire Field. We pulled off an excellent meal and then went and watched an excellent football game! Up next week are the Bombers from Manitoba. I think a Ukrainian/ Polish feast is in order!!