BBQ&A Video: ODesk CEO Grills Up Delicious Salmon

Written on:September 5, 2010
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Just in time for the Labor Day weekend, we bring you the second installment of our web TV series BBQ&A. In this episode, oDesk CEO Gary Swart turned up the heat with a homemade feast fit for a Silicon Valley king, featuring a super-easy cedar plank salmon, teriyaki tri-tip, corn salad, Caprese salad, and grilled asparagus. (We ran out of time before he could grill up his nectarines to put on the homemade marscapone ice cream).

(Video editor’s note: It was a scorching hot, cloudless day in Palo Alto, Calif. and this supernova-like illumination created harsh shadows, made us squint to save our eyes, and caused some serious sweat.)

Expert and noob grillers alike should definitely try out Swart’s salmon recipe. Not only is it delectable, but it’s easy to make, taking just 20 mins to cook. (I made it on my own last weekend.)

We want to also give a big thank you to The Private Bank of the Peninsula for letting us use their fantastic rooftop patio. If you’re a tech exec who likes to cook and wants to be a guest on our show, email my first name at gigaom dot com.

Cedar plank salmon

1 cedar plank
2 pound salmon fillet
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons Dijon mustard
6 tablespoons brown sugar

Soak cedar plank in salted water for 2 hours. Remove skin and any remaining bones from salmon fillet. Rinse under cold running water and pat dry with clean paper towels. Place the salmon on the cedar plank and generously salt and pepper, carefully spread the mustard over the top and sides and sprinkle brown sugar on top over the mustard.

Set grill to medium high and place the cedar plank in the center of the hot grate, away from the heat. Cover the grill and cook salmon through, around 20 to 30 minutes to an internal temperature to 135 degrees. Transfer the salmon and plank to a platter and serve right off the plank.

Corn Salad

6 ears of sweet white corn, shucked
1 cup diced red onion (1 medium onion)
1 cup red pepper (1-1/2 peppers)
1 large diced mango
1 large diced & seeded cucumber
5 tablespoons cider vinegar
5 tablespoons good olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/8 cup chopped mint

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the corn for 3 to 4 minutes, just until the starchiness is gone. Drain and place the cobs in ice water to stop the cooking process. Once the corn is cool, cut the kernels off close to the cob.

In a large bowl, mix the corn, onion, peppers, cucumber, vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, cilantro and mint. Just before serving add the diced mango (to avoid the mango getting too soggy). Taste for seasonings and serve cold or at room temperature. Salad can be made the night before to let the ingredients marinate.

Teriyaki Tri Tip

1 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup Japanese sweet rice wine
4 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup white sugar
5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 dash red pepper flakes
black pepper to taste
ground black pepper to taste
4 pounds beef tri tip, cut into 1 inch slices

Bring rice wine to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Add in the soy sauce, olive oil, sesame oil, sugar, garlic, ginger, pepper flakes, and pepper. Reduce heat and let simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let the marinade cool. Marinade can be made the night before and stored in the refrigerator to cool. Note: there are some decent commercial teriyaki sauces that you can buy to reduce prep time on this dish.

Once the marinade is cooled in the refrigerator, place the beef tri tip in the marinade, being sure to cover as much of the meat as possible. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator at least 4 hours.

Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat, and lightly oil grate. Grill the beef 3 to 6 minutes per side, or to desired temperature. Discard the remaining marinade.

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