Recipe: Burnt Orange Is The New Black

While Orange is the New Black (oh, season 2 anticipation!) may rock the airwaves, burnt orange is definitely the new culinary darling and hot trend.  I’ve seen it everywhere lately: food blogs and photos, my favourite magazines and many restaurants too. Singed citrus was my gastronomic epiphany on a recent trip to Reykjavik (alert! this year’s “it” travel destination). Burnt orange is everywhere. And for good reason. It’s culinary alchemy.

Charring an orange magically transforms its flavour. The fierce high heat caramelizes its natural sugars, which heightens and intensifies the oranginess while dialing down acidity levels. And, it introduces a cutting layer of flavourful bitterness – just enough to make it interesting and still palatable.

My favorite pairing of burnt orange is with fish. My epiphanic meal in Reykjavik was at the Grill Market; a hybrid cuisine of local Scandinavian meets Asian/East Asian. My life changed with Grilled Redfish with Snow Crab Roll. The fish was smoky and tender; barely brushed with a spicy, sweet and sticky sauce.  Once I squeezed the charred orange overtop, well, it was electric.

Now, I use it for everything. It’s my secret ingredient in cocktails; it loves anything made with bourbon, and a small squeeze in a negroni will make you weep. Use it instead of vinegar as the base for memorable salad dressings or in marinades and sauces. And please, lovingly squeeze it over anything that comes hot off the grill this summer.


D.I.Y. Burnt Orange:

Either grill or use a cast-iron pan.

Preheat grill to medium high. Or set a cast-iron frying pan over medium-high until hot (but not quite smoking)

Cut orange in half; rub in some olive oil.

Place orange, cut-side down, on grill or in hot pan.

Sear until surface is evenly charred, 2 to 3 min. Don’t be afraid of the dark. Oh, and hit the kitchen fan if cooking indoors!

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Let’s get to know each other: I’m a food writer, recipe developer and food stylist. I love to cook. I really love to eat. Better yet, it’s my pleasure to make it look good too. I am the consummate table-setter: I adore ...

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