Double 'Cooked' Salmon with a Twist of Orange Recipe
Double 'Cooked' Salmon with a Twist of Orange

By Diane Rossen Worthington

Salmon is a perfect summer main course. It can be poached, roasted or grilled with equally great results. Always looking for more interesting flavors, I developed this preparation in which the salmon is first lightly cured and then finished on the grill. It has a decidedly pleasant flavor and texture.

Curing is a way to cook the fish without heat. The rub is the cooking agent. Usually, curing is a process complete unto itself, but in this recipe the salmon is half-cooked by curing and then finished on the grill. Quick grilling seals in the dry aromatic orange rub flavor. The orange butter adds an extra layer of citrus flavor. You can also add a tablespoon of fresh chopped rosemary or basil to the butter for an herbaceous accent.

Start with a simple summer salad. I like to serve an array of grilled vegetables and steamed baby potatoes as accompaniments. To drink, try a medium-bodied chardonnay, a fruity rose or a crisp, lively Sauvignon Blanc. And don't forget you can easily double this recipe for a bigger group.

Grilled Orange Cured Salmon Recipe

Serves 4.

2 (1 pound) salmon filets or 4 (1/2-pound) salmon filets

Rub:

1 teaspoon coarse salt like kosher salt

6 white peppercorns

6 juniper berries

1 teaspoon finely chopped orange zest

1 teaspoon sugar

Orange butter

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

2 teaspoons finely chopped orange zest

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

1/8 teaspoon salt

Pinch white pepper

Grilled Orange Cured Salmon Instructions

1. Arrange salmon in large, shallow, non-aluminum dish.

2. In small bowl, combine ingredients for rub. Spread on salmon evenly and cover with wax paper. Weight with bricks or large cans. Refrigerate. Turn every 6-8 hours. Marinate for one day.

3. Prepare orange butter by combining all ingredients in medium bowl. Whip until well blended. Place on a sheet of wax paper and roll up in form of a log. Refrigerate until ready to use, about 4 hours minimum. The butter should get very firm.

4. Remove fish from dish, clean off excess rub and pat dry with a paper towel.

5. Prepare barbecue for medium heat grilling. Place fish on grill about 3 inches from flame. Grill about 4 minutes on each side or until desired doneness.

6. To serve, place fish on individual serving dishes.

7. Slice orange butter into equal pieces and arrange on top of fish. Serve immediately.

ADVANCE PREPARATION: Orange butter may be prepared 2 days in advance and kept in the refrigerator.

Note: Freeze remaining orange butter. It is delicious over grilled chicken.

Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks (click here), including "Seriously Simple Holidays: Recipes and Ideas to Celebrate the Season," and also a James Beard award-winning radio show host.

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Recipes: "Double 'Cooked' Salmon with a Twist of Orange"

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