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My $3000/plate dinner


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#1 Garagiste

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 05:31 AM

We have a small condo in Long Beach, WA, about 2 blocks off the ocean. We enjoy getting away for the weekends whenever we can, it's very relaxing. Great fish and seafood, too.

About 3 weeks ago while doing some routine maintenance on the complex (10 units), we discovered that the southern wall had developed some significant water related issues:

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Yikes! :) We needed to have several studs, much of the sill plate and sheathing, and all the siding replaced on that wall. I had somehow allowed myself to get elected president of the condo board, so I solicited bids and approved a $9,000 repair job.

I came up this weekend and the repairs were performed perfectly. I noticed that the contractor had not yet removed a fair sized stack of #1 cedar shingles that were cut, split, etc. As I was inspecting the site, thinking about food as usual, I had an epiphany that commanded action. A quick trip to OleBob's Seafood Market in Ilwaco, and voila:

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Wild chinook salmon with basil, garlic and lemon puree

The shingle, which I had soaked about an hour, took on a nice char after about 6 minutes on high heat. The bottom of the board had solid grill marks. Great cedar aromas. I was impressed with our little Weber Q portable grill.
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When the fish was almost ready, I added some artichokes I had steamed earlier. They also picked up a delicious wood-fired taste.
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The final product was outstanding: cedar planked salmon with basil puree, grilled artichoke with garlic, lemon and chili infused olive oil, and green and yellow beans. Paired beautifully with a crispy Spanish chardonnay from Raimat.
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It's always a surprise how much flavor the fish picks up from its short contact with the wood and smoke.

At $9K, I'm not sure about the price to value ratio, but it was delicious, and Mme. Garagiste and our guest seemed to enjoy it. Also, I can feel good about recycling construction waste and lowering the impact on our landfills. How sustainable is that?

I now have what seems like a lifetime supply of cooking shingles, too. Guess I'd better start experimenting with other planked foods. Any suggestions?

Thanks, and eat well this holiday weekend.

#2 John DePaula

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 06:32 AM

I assume those shingles were not treated with that arsenic stuff that's often used in construction as a wood preservative...
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#3 alicia

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 07:20 AM

I assume those shingles were not treated with that arsenic stuff that's often used in construction as a wood preservative...



yeah i don't think i'd cook with building materials, either- yikes!

#4 concreteoatmeal

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 08:14 AM

cedar isnt treated for rot resistance, as it is naturally resistant. thats why it has been used as a building material for so long in applications where its constantly exposed. the only thing to really worry about is a fire retardent(pretty rare in residential construction. especially if its over say 15 years old) and any primer, paint or chemical applied to it to inhibite UV bleaching.
btw, the arsenic preservative for treated lumber has been outlawed for a number of years. thats why treated lumber is so much more expensive now. the new chemical used is much, much more corrosive and you now have to use a stainless(or double hot dipped galvanized) connector,nail, or screw when building with it. did i mention that a bracket that used to cost say, 2$/per now cost about 10$/per??? yeah! envirnmental whack jobs. ponder that for awhile the next time you wonder why housing is so expensive......but i digress.

regardless, that food looks yummy!
"If you were expecting a kick in the groin, and you get a slap in the face.......thats a win where I come from"

#5 Garagiste

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 08:30 AM

cedar isnt treated for rot resistance, as it is naturally resistant. thats why it has been used as a building material for so long in applications where its constantly exposed. the only thing to really worry about is a fire retardent(pretty rare in residential construction. especially if its over say 15 years old) and any primer, paint or chemical applied to it to inhibite UV bleaching.
btw, the arsenic preservative for treated lumber has been outlawed for a number of years. thats why treated lumber is so much more expensive now. the new chemical used is much, much more corrosive and you now have to use a stainless(or double hot dipped galvanized) connector,nail, or screw when building with it. did i mention that a bracket that used to cost say, 2$/per now cost about 10$/per??? yeah! envirnmental whack jobs. ponder that for awhile the next time you wonder why housing is so expensive......but i digress.

regardless, that food looks yummy!



CO is correct on 2 counts:

1) Untreated, au naturel cedar shingles, and
2) It was yummy.

#6 polloelastico

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 08:34 AM

These posts are great, Garagiste. Please keep them coming.
“Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.” — George Carlin

#7 Garagiste

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 09:54 AM

These posts are great, Garagiste. Please keep them coming.


Shucks, thanks.... :)

Big doings later this week, a grand act of culinary masochism. I'll make sure to take plenty of pictures.

#8 Guest_MostlyRunning_*

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 10:04 AM

These posts are great, Garagiste. Please keep them coming.


PE beat me to it. Do you have a blog with past adventures on it as well? Your photography is great and I love the narratives you provide. Keep em coming please.

#9 concreteoatmeal

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 10:31 AM

FWIW, if anyone wants to do anything like this with cedar, just go to your local lumber yard and ask for untreated cedar shingles. it will be about 1/20th the price of a cedar plank in a cooking store!
"If you were expecting a kick in the groin, and you get a slap in the face.......thats a win where I come from"

#10 Quo Vadis

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 10:38 AM

FWIW, if anyone wants to do anything like this with cedar, just go to your local lumber yard and ask for untreated cedar shingles. it will be about 1/20th the price of a cedar plank in a cooking store!



Yeah, back in the day I felt it my duty to accost people who were looking at those shingles in cooking stores and talk them out of it.
Methinks I am like a man, who having struck on many shoals, and having narrowly escap'd shipwreck in passing a small frith, has yet the temerity to put out to sea in the same leaky weather-beaten vessel, and even carries his ambition so far as to think of compassing the globe under these disadvantageous circumstances-Hume

#11 Garagiste

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 02:52 PM


These posts are great, Garagiste. Please keep them coming.


PE beat me to it. Do you have a blog with past adventures on it as well? Your photography is great and I love the narratives you provide. Keep em coming please.



Nope, relatively new activity for me. I used to post on some automotive sites, but I've been offline for a while. Mostly I've been boring my friends and family, so they'll be happy that I've found a creative outlet.

Thank you for the encouragement, I'm glad to be on this site. :rolleyes:

#12 ExtraMSG

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 03:21 PM

Now that's what I call recycling.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#13 GizmoCat

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 04:04 PM

Great way to recycle! LOL! Okay, I am now salivating over the photos and love the addition of the Raimat Chard. Unoaked....so as not to compete with the cedar. :rolleyes:

#14 Amanda

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Posted 02 September 2008 - 07:10 AM

Those salmon and artichokes have me salivating. What a wonderful meal that must have been!

Best regards,

Amanda

#15 Flymonkey

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 07:44 PM

Love your posts and commentary (&pics!). I really like cedar plank cooking.

My parents have some property and lost a large cedar tree to lightening a few years back. They had it chopped down and we asked the arborist/tree cutter guy to cut into 4" lengths. There's a cedar shake mill just East of Sandy, OR that planed the wood for us into long thin boards. Cedar planking up the wazoo! I cut sizes to match what I'm cooking, which is really nice. Good stuff. Another way to recycle if you find yourself with a cedar tree in need of coming down...

#16 salmonfly65

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Posted 14 September 2008 - 08:28 PM

You didn't mention a wine - please don't tell me it was a '95 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier Montrachet! I have friends in your "hood" and would have made a "special" trip just to mind the Weber while you were clipping the artichokes.

#17 Garagiste

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 05:24 AM

You didn't mention a wine - please don't tell me it was a '95 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier Montrachet! I have friends in your "hood" and would have made a "special" trip just to mind the Weber while you were clipping the artichokes.

I wish :lol:

We went a little less formal: a 2005 Chardonnay from Raimat (Spanish). Unoaked, so there wasn't too much "wood" with the cedar flavors on the salmon. Very crisp and lively, good match.

#18 adhoc

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Posted 15 September 2008 - 08:16 PM

I also cringe when I see people purchasing the cedar planks in cooking stores. It is a great way to cook fish, almost giving a smoky roasted flavor. I have also found it works great with other proteins as well...beef, pork, and birds. Just sear and transfer to smoldering plank to finish.