GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Get grilling and enjoy your summer with three no-fail recipes from Chef Terry John Zila. Starting with fish and finishing with b-b-q sauce your family and friends will really love their fun in the sun.

Cedar Planked Salmon

Note: You will often see cooking instructions that call for removing the skin from the salmon before cooking. I like to leave the skin on and allow it to be a buffer for the heat of the grill. I think you gain a little more control over the cooking process as grilling fish can be tricky.


1 cedar plank (6 by 14 inches)

4 fresh salmon fillets, preferably Pacific salmon, about 6 ounces each

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/3cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/3 cup Dijon mustard

1. Soak cedar plank in salted water for at least 2 hours, remove from water and allow to drain.

2. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, water and lemon juice. Heat until the brown sugar has dissolved completely and the mixture has started to reduce and begins thickening a bit. Remove from heat and stir in the Dijon mustard. Set aside.

3. Remove any remaining pin bones from the salmon with a fish de-boner or a tweezers. Rinse the salmon under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels. Generously season the salmon with salt and pepper. Lay the salmon, skin side down, on the cedar plank and brush the mustard vinegar mixture over the top and sides.

4. Set grill for indirect grilling and heat to medium-high. Place the cedar plank in the center of the hot grate, away from the heat. Cover the grill and cook until cooked through, around 20 to 30 minutes. The internal temperature should read 135 degrees F. Transfer salmon to a platter and serve.

Serves 4

Kansas City Dry Rub Ribs


2 slabs pork spare ribs, 3 pounds each

Dry Rub:

2 cups brown sugar

½ cup dry mustard

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

2 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons onion powder

1 tablespoon salt

2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper

1. Remove the thin white membrane off of the bone-side of the ribs. Mix together the brown sugar, dry mustard, cayenne, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Massage the rub into the ribs and refrigerate overnight.

If cooking on the grill, set up the grill for indirect heat. Place the ribs meat-side down next to medium-hot coals that are about 225 degrees F. The indirect heat will cook them slower, making them tender. Allow to cook for 1 hour. Turn ribs every half hour and baste with BBQ sauce. Cook until the ribs are tender, about 3 to 4 hours.

If cooking indoors, place in a roasting pan with a rack. Slather the ribs with BBQ sauce and tent a piece of aluminum foil over them. In a preheated 350°F oven, place the ribs, basting with the sauce every 30 minutes and removing the foil for the last 30 minutes and cooking until fork tender, about 2 ½ to 3 hours.

BBQ Pork Ribs


2 slabs pork spare ribs, about 3 pounds each

2 tablespoons liquid crab boil

3 teaspoons, plus 1 tablespoon kosher salt

3 bay leaves

2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

3 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne

Barbecue Sauce

1. Place the ribs in a large Dutch oven or stockpot. Cover with water and add the crab boil, 2 teaspoons of the salt, and the bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and drain.

2. In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, paprika, chili powder, black pepper, remaining tablespoon of salt, and cayenne. Pat the ribs dry and rub well with the spice mixture.

3. Lightly oil the grill rack on a barbecue grill, or gas grill and preheat to medium-low about 250 to 275? F. Arrange the ribs on the rack and cover with foil.

4. Cook, turning every 20 minutes, until tender, about 2 hours, if using charcoal, replenishing as needed.

5. During the last 20 minutes of cooking time, baste the ribs with the sauce, turning twice. Remove the ribs from the grill and serve the ribs with remaining sauce and fried pork rinds.

Note: If you want to make this dish in the oven: After rubbing ribs with spice mixture, place them in a preheated 350-degree oven for 10 minutes.

Remove. Slather ribs with BBQ sauce, wrap in heavy-duty plastic wrap, then wrap in foil, and return to the oven to bake for 1 ½ hours.

Barbecue Sauce:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped yellow onions

1 tablespoon minced garlic

3 tablespoons chopped chipotle chiles in adobo, with adobo sauce

½ cup red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

4 cups tomato sauce

½ cup molasses

2 teaspoons dry mustard

2 bay leaves

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until the onions are lightly caramelized, 4 to 5 minutes.

2. Add the garlic and chiles, and cook for 1 minute.

3. Deglaze the pan with the vinegar and lime juice and cook until the liquid is reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes.

4. Add the adobo sauce, tomato sauce, molasses, mustard, bay leaves and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until thick, stirring occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes.

5. Remove from the heat and strain.

Yield: 4 cups


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