ORANGE CARAMELIZED FISH WITH PINEAPPLE SALSA
This simple fish treatment can be used with salmon, trout, cod, halibut, snapper, yellowtail, or almost any firm textured, light fish. My favorite is salmon, but that is probably because my husband Allen could grill or broil salmon to perfection.
I don’t know how he always was able to time it so perfectly. But he had an uncanny ability to flip the fish onto a platter and present it so it just melted in your mouth. Sometimes he would even have us all sit in readiness at the table, so he could place the fish on each plate and let us get right at it when it was warm and perfectly succulent.
Well, I don’t have quite the same skill, but I have been practicing–and improving with each new attempt, if I do say so myself. Besides, the citrusy salsa topping in this recipe is juicy and flavorful enough to enhance any cooking technique and forgive slight errors in timing.
You can use skin-on or skinless fish, because the orange-sugar mixture permeates enough that it only needs to be patted on to the top side. The fresh orange zest provides enough acid to accent the sweetness of the sugar, and it melts into a flavorful blend as it sits in the refrigerator.
Combine the sugar, zest, salt and pepper until it is gritty and paste-like. Spread the mixture onto the fish and refrigerate it for up to 8 hours.
Combine the colorful and flavorful ingredients that make up the pineapple salsa; stir, cover, and refrigerate. Remove both the marinated fish and Pineapple Salsa from the refrigerator about an hour before cooking. The fish should warm up a bit before cooking and the salsa tastes best if it is not too cold.
Broil or grill the fish until just done. The time depends on the thickness of the fish and heat of the grill. Most recipes recommend cooking fish for 10 minutes per inch. Allen thought that was too long, and I agree. He usually took the fish off of the grill after about 7-8 minutes if it was an inch thick. By the time the fish traveled from the grill to the table, it would finish cooking from ambient heat, but was still perfectly moist and yummy.
Serve the fish with the Pineapple Citrus Salsa.
ORANGE CARAMELIZED FISH WITH PINEAPPLE CITRUS SALSA
- 1 1/2 Pounds Fresh Salmon, 1 Inch Thick, cut into 6 pieces
- ( or Snapper, Cod, Halibut, Trout)
- 2 Tablespoons Sugar
- Zest of one Large Orange (divided)
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper
Pineapple Citrus Salsa
- 1 Large Orange, Peeled, Sectioned and Chopped
- 1/2 Cup Pineapple Chunks, Fresh or Canned and Drained
- 1 Small Shallot, Finely Chopped
- 1/2 Small Red Bell Pepper, Finely Chopped
- 1 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Parsley or Cilantro
- 1 Small Jalapeño, Finely Chopped
- Zest and Juice of one Lime
- Zest and Juice of half a Lemon
- Vegetable Cooking Spray
Remember to roll the orange, lemon, and limes on the counter to break the membranes before zesting and peeling.
Stir together sugar, all but one teaspoon of the orange zest, salt and pepper. Rub mixture onto salmon (not on skin side). Place salmon, sugar side up, in a glass or ceramic dish. Cover and refrigerate 4-8 hours.
Meanwhile, make Pineapple Citrus Salsa by combining all ingredients. Chill until serving time.
Remove fish and Citrus Salsa from refrigerator about an hour ahead of cooking. The Salsa tastes best if it is not too cold.
Preheat grill or broiler. Spray the grill rack or broiler pan with nonstick cooking spray, and place fish on rack. Grill or broil for 6-8 minutes or until just done. Serve with Citrus Salsa.