Throw a Delightful . . . Summer Porch Dinner


We are excited about the end of school and the beginning of warm Summer nights!  We love grilling and eating outside and having friends over to share makes it even better.  One of our favorite menus for entertaining is Cedar Planked Salmon, Sugar Snap Peas & Asparagus and Garlic Mashed Potatoes.  Everything goes together so well and just sings summer.

The sauce for the salmon is absolutely delicious and we use a recipe that was originally from a card I picked up at Williams-Sonoma years ago.  I can't find it on their website now, so I've recreated it here.  Be sure to pick up their cedar planks--they make the dish.

Grilled Cedar-Plank Salmon
Serves 8

4 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. soy sauce
6 tbsp. chardonnay (can also use bourbon or whiskey)
1 tsp. ground ginger
1 tbsp. brown sugar
Freshly ground pepper to taste
4 lbs. salmon fillet
½ tsp. lemon juice

Combine first 6 ingredients in a bowl, whisking to blend.  Set marinade aside.
Remove any pinbones from salmon. (Leave whole or cut into individual servings.)  Place salmon in a shallow bowl, add marinade and turn to coat.  Cover and let sit for 20 minutes.
While salmon is marinating, prepare cedar planks by soaking them in water.  Then preheat the planks on the grill.  Carefully lift the grill lid and place the salmon skin down on the plank.  Return the lid and let hot-smoke for 8-10 minutes or until done.

Glaze: Transfer marinade to small sauce pan.  Gently simmer on stovetop until reduced by half.  Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Brush or drizzle onto salmon before serving.

Serving dinner outside is a great excuse to use all of your fun dinnerware and serving pieces . . . you know you have some pieces that haven't seen the light of day since your wedding!  Get them out and enjoy them.  We love these stylish and bright ice buckets from Boatman Geller and their colorful melamine platters.  Perfect for gatherings on the patio or porch this summer.

How about making the gathering extra special by sending your guests a printed invitation?  Everyone loves getting mail, particularly those envelopes that come hand-addressed (aka, not a bill).  We love these simple but elegant invitations on our Printswell sister site which are 25% off through 5/15/12.

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