I cooked these the same weekend I did the Smoke Roasted Round Roast. I had a bag of Tilapia that was taking up space in the freezer. Plus this fish cooks relatively fast. So I decided that I would blacken some, and then use up my last cedar plank on these fillets.
A bit of courage…
This cook’s official sponsor was a Polish Mule. A great cocktail and easy to mix. 2 oz. Chopin Rye Vodka, juice of half a lime (freshly squeezed, not that green plastic grenade), two dashes of Angostura Bitters and 6 oz ginger beer over ice.
The funny thing about grilling in the middle of winter in Philly, when I take my drinks outside, they actually get colder!
Step 1: Season…
These fillets got a simple dusting of equal parts kosher salt and ground black pepper. Nothing too complicated here, as the flavor is going to come from the wood and the lemons during the cook.
Step 2: Gimme some heat…
I lit a full chimney of briquettes, filling one weber basket and then spreading the rest next to it. Below you see me toasting the cedar plank while cooking some blackened tilapia along side. It took about 5 minutes for the cedar plank to toast up nicely.
Step 3: Laying on the fish…
After toasting the cedar plank, I flipped it, rubbed it with a bit of olive oil and laid the fillets on top. Then as you can see, I added 2 – 3 lemon slices on top of the fillets. Closed the lid and let it cook for about 10 minutes over a hot grill. The smell of the cedar and the blackening tilapia next to it, had my neighbor from down the street come down to see what I was cooking. That and it was 32 degrees outside!
Step 4: Pulling the fish…
I ended up putting a third fillet on this plank, but the poor fillet never made it inside! He was sacrificed for the sake of cooking science.
These fish came out very lemony. I guess this would work better with a fillet that had a more robust base flavor, like maybe Sword Fish or Sea Bass. One of the fillets was too lemony, the other two were great though. If I decide to plank these again in the future, I may just go for a spritz of lemon juice at the beginning and just be done with it.
But no worries I gave these a good home!
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