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Cranberry Cedar Salmon with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Asparagus

Chef Taylor Cole, Yellow Church Café

Episode: Yellow Church Café

serves 1


  • 1 Alaskan salmon filet (7 to 10 ounces)
  • 4" x 8" cedar wood plank, untreated
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup diced sweet onion
  • 3/4 teaspoon 5 Spice
  • 2 cups red wine (cooks choice)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 1/2 lb. cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 bunch thinly sliced chives
  • 3 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 bunch asparagus


When making all these products into a great dinner for you and your loved ones, remember, cooking is not constrained by the recipe. It should always be done with love and your own artistic approach, with a side of fun!

Place cedars plank(s) in to a sink and submerge under water for 20-60 minutes, usually done quite some time before cooking. While the plank is soaking, get your prep done.

Get a large pot of water going on high heat and place some kosher sea salt into. Once at a roaring boil, place your Yukon’s into it and cover. Take your cream cheese and butter and leave out to get to room temp so they are soft for smashin’ and mixin’! Make sure not to “Boil Out" your water.

Grab your sweet onion and chive and prep them to the cutting styles specified of the recipe. Make sure to fine dice the sweet onion, take your time and make your cuts count. The chive for the mash potatoes just needs to be nice and small, chopped into 1/8th inch chunks. Take your red wine, I prefer a Merlot or Pinot Noir, place it into a medium sized sauté pan and then add your sugar. With this we are going to make a reduction that our Cranberries are going to sit in for a beurre rouge effect, without doing a beurre rouge. Let your reduction get nice and thick, about 5-10 minutes, and add your sweet onion, 5 Spice, and cranberries. Let that reduce some more, until the sweet onions get translucent and take on a vibrant red color.

Take your plank of the water and drizzle some olive oil onto it, not too much, just about if collected, would be as big as a dime. Place your Alaskan salmon onto it and drizzle a little more olive oil on it and a dash of salt and pepper. Place into a preheated oven of 400°F. Let cook for 8-12 minutes, or until your desired temperature. I like mine to be at a 125°F or so.

Grab your asparagus and chop the ends off. Take a vegetable peeler and shave off the last 2” or so, just to give some color and it makes a little bit more fun!

At the same time of peeling the asparagus, take out another smaller pot, fill it full of water, and raise it to a boil. Once at a boil, drop in the asparagus and let cook for 1-2 minutes. While that cooks, grab a medium mixing bowl and fill it with some ice and some cold water, this is used for blanching. Nobody wants wimpy, soft asparagus! Toss your cooked, but firm asparagus into the ice bath. The part that you peeled should look almost bright green.

Go ahead and turn of your cranberry relish reduction. The reduction should contain soft, flavorful cranberries, and be like nice thick syrup.

Now that the potatoes should be soft and ready to mash, drain all the water out of them and place into a large mixing bowl. Grab a hard whisk or potato masher, and start making those potatoes into mash! Once all Yukon’s have been smashed up, add the now room temperature cream cheese and butter. Let the heat of the potatoes melt the cream cheese and butter. Mix and smash away with your tool of choice! Toss in the minced garlic. I like garlic a lot and so does my family, so I use more than less. Add the heavy whip to get the desired consistency. I like mine a little thicker then thinner, so I use a bit less then normal. Toss in the chives and mix a bit more, kosher sea salt to taste.

After your mashed potatoes are done, grab your vessel, or plate, and get your potatoes on there and your asparagus. For added flavor with the asparagus, you can sauté in white wine, shallot, minced garlic and salt, but I like it el natural. Grab your now perfectly cooked salmon out of the oven and place on top of the mashed potatoes, or anywhere you like on the plate. Taking a dinner spoon, scoop up some cranberry relish and place it on top of salmon. Go back in again and grab some more of the reduction if you like to give it an abundance of sauce for your salmon filet.