Sunday, June 20, 2010

Party Food for the Potluck We Never Went To

Today we were to be heading off to a potluck dinner with some others of the Ottawa foodie set. As the week went by, the plans slowly started to unravel as life again interfered with life for some. But those that dropped off the guest list ended up where they needed to be today, including Paris, France! Preferring to gather as a more complete crowd, we decided to postpone. I was well stocked with my potluck ingredients at 'cancel time', so I quickly moved to my Plan B.

I was going to bring 3 dishes:
  • cedar-planked salmon on a baguette slice spread with a chipotle cream cheese mix and dolloped with red pepper jelly
  • duck breast on a baguette slice spread with foie gras butter and topped with a rhubarb compote [inspired by Chef John Leung at the British High Commission as served at Thursday, June 17 fundraiser at Earnscliffe for Ottawa Chamber Music Society]
  • strawberry rhubarb pie
The cedar-planked salmon that was headed towards an appetizer presentation, stayed in its fillet form. The duck breast appetizer was retired to the freezer. The strawberry rhubarb pie went ahead as planned (any other idea would have been criminal, I was told) and took on an added communal role of reaching out to others that have lesser mobility for venturing out.


For this traditional East Coast aboriginal way of cooking fish adapted to a modern barbecue, choose a cedar plank at your local lumberyard. They are also available at Loblaws at the seafood counter. Get one a little larger than the fish and soak it in cold water for at least four hours or overnight before using.

1 1/2 lb salmon fillets, with skin

1/4 cups olive oil

1 teaspoon lemon zest, grated

1 teaspoon orange zest, grated

1/8 cup lemon juice

1/8 cup orange juice

1 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp salt

Place salmon, skin side down, in large glass dish. Whisk together oil, lemon rind and juice, basil,pepper and salt; pour over salmon. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or for up to 8 hours.

Discarding marinade, place salmon, skin side down, on soaked cedar plank. Place plank on grill over medium-high heat; close lid and cook for about 20 minutes or until fish is opaque, bronze-coloured and flakes easily when tested with fork. Makes 6 servings.


We really like having a red pepper jelly with our cedar-planked salmon. Sometimes we are lucky to find a red pepper and peach jelly combination. The heat from a red pepper jelly with chili works very well too.

The salad was not on my potluck list but it sure helped to fill a spot on our plate. And it's certainly a nod to best-selling author, Mark Bittman of Food Matters fame, who promotes eliminating processed foods, eating whole foods and consuming more fruits and vegetables.


mixed greens

heirloom tomatoes


sweet red bell pepper

red onion



feta cheese


extra virgin olive oil

orange juice

balsamic vinegar

very small garlic clove

freshly ground black pepper

pinch of sugar


This is the second time I have made a strawberry rhubarb pie this season! I just love the zing that comes from the tartness of fresh rhubarb. Here is the previous post that contains the recipe for the pie.

Father's Day was very peaceful from start to end. Father's Day was also a good eating day from start to end. [As evidenced here with a sneak peak at breakfast in bed, made by the young chef.]


  1. yum! You have taught the young chef well. and the pie looks fanstastic.

  2. The whole menu sounds wonderful! That duck with rhubarb..mmm. Your breakfast in bed looks great too. I actually thought you had a bowl of jellybeans on the corner of your tray at firs, which seems like perfectly reasonable breakfast food, but then realized it was fruit salad.

  3. Mary: I hope my son doesn't read this post and see your comment. I guarantee you that the next breakfast in bed re: Mother's Day or Father's Day will come with a bowl of 'jelly bean' fruit. What a chuckle. I am still laughing.

  4. Everything looks so wonderfully appetizing, especially the salmon. My husband loves salmon and I do a pretty good job of grilling it but I've never tried doing it on the cedar plank. Something to definitely do in the future. Thanks.

  5. Thanks Paula! Some of the leftovers were shared with others last night on a post dinner visit. Then we had some of the salmon cold tonight done up as an appetizer as previously planned. So yum to be relaxing on the deck with those and an icy lemon water.

  6. This post makes me feel even worst that we could not all get together; it looks absolutely delicious. I can almost smell the pie.

  7. Marc-André: We will get the foodies together! We will! I too was missing that we didn't do it but it will be better when everyone can get together. Now the question is, do I still make pie?

  8. Recipe was actually quite easy and quite tasty. Very flavorful.
    This quick and delicious easy appetizers is perfect for all occasions.

    1. Which recipe did you make Violette? The salmon or the salad?


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