Smoked Arctic Char With Lemon Dill Aioli

Winter 2015

Executive chef Don Dastrup of the University of Texas Club in Austin brines Arctic char first to keep it moist and to speed up the smoking process. If you use a charcoal grill rather than electric smoker, place fish over indirect heat until it flakes easily, about 40 minutes.

4 cups kosher salt
1/2 gallon water
2 lemons, juiced
1 bunch dill, chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 side Arctic char, skin on, about 3 pounds
pecan smoking chips, soaked at least 15 minutes in water in advance
Lemon Dill Aioli (recipe follows)
fried kale
lemon slices, capers, and diced pickled red onions, for garnish

For the brine, place salt, water, juiced lemons, dill, and brown sugar in a large bowl and whisk until ingredients dissolve. Place the fish in a plastic container and cover with the brine for about 2 hours. Remove the fish from the brine and let it dry on a sheet pan overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat your electric smoker for 200 degrees for 1 hour. Add the soaked pecan chips. Place fish skin-side down on an oiled wire rack, and smoke for 1 hour. When finished, the fish should be slightly firm and pale pink. Let cool before removing from the rack.

Serve with Lemon Dill Aioli, fried kale, lemon slices, capers, and diced pickled red onions.

Yield: 6 servings

LEMON DILL AIOLI

2 cups mayonnaise
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup capers, chopped
1 bunch dill, finely chopped
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
2 shallots, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
salt and pepper

Combine ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate until needed.

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