Monday, August 31, 2015

Lemon and Onion Stuffed Whole Smoked Trout


I was pretty excited 2 years ago when I bought my smoker.  I've made some pretty incredible food in it but the best thing by far that's come out of it is definitely maple smoked bacon!  It's incredible, post to come soon!  I realized that I've never smoked fish in it so I went to St. Lawrence Market and got some trout.
Summer has arrived again here after the last 2 weeks being on the cool side.  For me if it isn't 27 C or higher I'm freezing!  My friend told me I was 'Mexacinized after spending the month of May in Mexico.  I probably am and probably was even before I went.  There's just something so much better about warm weather, sandals and shorts vs boots and scarves.

When choosing fish make sure to look for a fish that has clear eyes, not cloudy and that it doesn't smell overly 'fishy'.  The recipe calls for a 1 lb/450 g fish per person but I have to be honest, we could have easily split 1 fish.  I was a little skeptical that the fish would be cooked properly when I read that it gets smoked fo 1.5 hours.  I thought it would be overcooked.  Nope, this fish was one of the best cooked fish I've ever made and the flesh was cooked to perfection.


I kept it simple and served it with some roasted asparagus and cherry tomatoes.  I tossed the asparagus and tomatoes in olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt and pepper and roasted for about 10 minutes at 400 F/200 C.




Because this trout is smoked you're not going to get any crispy skin but the meat is AMAZING.  A note on smokers, because this fish is smoked at a temperture of 210 - 225 F/100 - 110 C make sure you get your wood chips in the smoker at least half an hour prior to adding the fish.  You want to make sure that it starts to smoke within the 1.5 hours it's in there.  I mention this because I have an electric smoker and sometimes it can take almost 45 minute to get the thing smoking at these lower temperatures. You could probably do this on a gas grill as well if you have a smoker box.  



Lemon and Onion Stuffed Whole Smoked Trout
Serves 2 - 4

Brine
  • 8 cups water
  • 8 tbs KOSHER SALT
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Fish
  • 2 whole trout (1 lb/450 g each)
  • 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 4 tbs/2 oz butter cut into small pieces
  • 1 garlic clove cut into thin slices
  • 1/2 a small onion cut into rings
  • 1 lemon cut into slices
  • small handful of parsley with stem
  • wood chips (I used apple and soaked them for 15 minutes in water)
  • lemon wedges for serving
To make the brine place everything in a nonreactive/plastic container large enough for the fish and add 1 cup of hot water whisking to desolve the salt.  Add 7 cups of cold water, stir and add the fish. Cover and refridgerate for about 2 hours.  Soak the wood chips for 15 minutes in water and then drain.  Heat up your smoker to 210 - 225 F and get the wood chips in it at least half and hour before you add the fish.

Take the fish out of the brine (disgard brine) and rinse it off.  Pat the fish dry and season the insides of the fish with salt and pepper.  Divide the butter and place it in the cavity along with the lemon, onion, butter, garlic and parsley.  Loosley tie with kitchen twine to help keep the stuffing in.

Make an open 'boat'/packet out of double layer of foil big enough to hold each fish separately.  Lie the fish in their boats with the stuffing side slightly raised on the side of the foil.  Place in the preheated smoker and smoke until it reaches 145 F/60 C or the fish begins to flake around 1.5 hours.  I took the temperature at the 1 hour mark and only needed another 20 minutes to get it up to temperature.

Remove the fish, untie and disgard the stuffing.  Serve with more lemon wedges.

This is definitely a recipe that I will be making again!

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