I kept it light and served with sautu00e9ed zucchini and squash. (Photo: Shawanda Mason)

Spicy orange salsa

1 cup orange, cut into pieces

1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped

2 tbsp fresh orange juice

1 tbsp lemon juice

3 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 garlic clove, minced

Kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper

Occasionally, I fall in love with a recipe that I see on a blog or in a magazine and immediately know that I have to make it; this is one of those recipes. It was described deliciously, it looked beautiful, and the process seemed fairly easy. I’ve never salt-roasted anything, so this was a learning experience and definitely a teaching moment for me, which is a good thing. That’s how I like my cooking experiences; I like them to be educational and eye-opening. Even if I’m making a dish that I’ve made a million times, I always learn or experience it differently every time.

Now, with this salt-roasted fish, the process wasn’t difficult at all, but you must be sure to follow the recipe and watch the salt. I like to veer off the beaten path sometimes when I cook, and usually it ends really well. This is a safe place, so I can honestly tell you that my first attempt at this did not turn out well: it was way too salty.

Let me explain my mistake. The recipe is very clear and concise, but I don’t always listen. Had I purchased a large piece of fish from the butcher and went through the steps, I would have been in pretty good shape. I decided to do salt-roasted fillets, which is perfectly OK, had I adjusted the salt appropriately. I adjusted the salt, just not enough. On top of that, my fillets did not have the skin on them, which would have helped absorb the salt. The amount of salt that you roast your fish with depends on the size of your fillets or your fish; please keep that in mind, but use the original recipe (link at the end of the article) as a guide.

When I did get this right, it was delicious. The spicy orange salsa was, in my opinion, the best part. The salsa is one element of this dish I’d definitely incorporate into other meals-so ridiculously delicious and fresh.

First, make your salsa so that all the flavors have a chance to bond. This salsa would be great in fish tacos.

Make the salsa first to let flavors marinate while you bake the fish. (Photo: Shawanda Mason)

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees, and start to make the salt mixture. Whisk six egg whites until they form soft peaks; fold in the salt. Spread some of the salt mixture in the bottom of an oven-safe dish. If using a whole fish, fill the cavity with thyme and basil, then place the fish on top of the egg white mixture. If using fillets, just add the herbs on top of the fish; I also added a little garlic and herb butter. 

First layer: Egg white, fish and herbs. (Photo: Shawanda Mason)

Cover the fish with the remaining salt mixture and enclose it completely.

Place the fish in the oven, and bake for roughly 25 minutes. When you take the fish out of the oven, the crust should be browned and hardened. Let it rest for 10 minutes.

The browned crust, hardened, should be easy to break. (Photo: Shawanda Mason)

Use a wooden spoon to break through the crust, and remove pieces of the crust from the top of the fish.

Serve with your favorite veggies, and make sure you have plenty of the orange salsa on top of the fish.

Citrus is fantastic with fish, and this spicy orange salsa is simply delicious. (Photo: Shawanda Mason)

For the full recipe, visit the Kitchy Kitchen.

Shawanda Mason is the creator and blogger of Eat.Drink.Frolic. For recipe questions or to chat about eating, drinking or frolicking, she can be reached at [email protected] or by following her on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.

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