Lunchbreak: Chef/author Barton Seaver makes orange-scented Alaskan salmon

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Barton Seaver

To purchase a copy of the book:

Where There’s Smoke: Simple, Sustainable, Delicious Grilling

Visit Barton’s website:
Orange-Scented Alaskan Salmon
Serves 4

One 1 1/4-pound skin-on Alaskan Salmon, soaked in Fish Brine (below)
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Finely shredded zest of 1 orange

Remove the fish from the brine and pat it dry. Brush it with a mixture of the olive oil and orange zest. Place the fish, skin side down, on the grill away from the coals of a small fire.
Add a few chunks of wood to the coals and cover the grill. For Alaskan Salmon, I prefer a fruit or nut wood such as peach, pecan, apple, or cherry. Orange wood is also a fun choice.
Close the air intake to just a sliver and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet and intensity of the fire. When the fish is cooked, it will have a beautiful rusty hue and the meat will flake under gentle pressure.
Gently remove the filets to a platter and serve immediately.

Fish Brine
Every type of seafood is different in terms of density of the flesh, so different brine times are needed for different fish.

2 cups warm water
1 Tablespoon kosher salt
1 Tablespoon sugar

Mix all the ingredients and stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Submerge the fish in the brine, weighting it down with a plate if need be, and brine according to these guidelines:

trout, shrimp, sardines, and other delicate seafood: 15 minutes
bass, barramundi, sablefish, and other flaky fillets: 20 minutes
halibut, mahimahi, bluefish, and other flaky, meaty fillets: 30 minutes
salmon, mackerel, Arctic char, and other meaty, full-flavored fish: 35 minutes
amberjack, cobia, swordfish, and other dense, steak-like fish: 40 minutes

Crunchy Celery Salad with Parmesan and Creamy Lemon Dressing
Serves 4

1 bunch celery, tough outer stalks discarded and ends trimmed
2 Tablespoons roughly chopped or torn fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped pecans
juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
2 teaspoons maple syrup or honey
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 ounce Parmesan, cut into shavings with a vegetable peeler

Slice the celery as thin as possible on a slight bias. Do not discard the inner leaves from the heart of the celery, as these are packed with fl avor and aroma. Mix the celery with the parsley and pecans in a medium serving bowl.
Mix the lemon juice, mustard, maple syrup, and olive oil in a small bowl. Season with a pinch of salt and whisk to combine. Pour the vinaigrette over the celery mixture and add another pinch of salt. Toss to combine and divide the salad among plates. Garnish with freshly ground pepper and thin shavings of Parmesan. Serve at room temperature.

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