Thursday, May 7, 2009

Smoked Trout with Cherry Tomatoes

This recipe is a simple, yet full of flavor favorite at home. It's in the book, but here is tonight's version:

I often serve this with a simple starch like polenta or cous cous. Tonight we ate this dish delish with hushpuppies (brought home from Smokin’ Pete’s BBQ –one of our new sides), and green beans. I had planned to steam the beans – passing on the butter to help get the baby weight off – but Eric took over the dinner at the end. The beans were so tasty, they clearly were not just steamed. “How did you do the beans?” I asked Eric. “Cooked them with some of the leftover rib drippings from last night,” he replied. So pork fat, basically, is what made them so special. Take some perfectly healthy beans and fry ‘em up with rib lard. Sigh. I did have two helpings of vegetables tonight, though, and our 3-yr old happily gobbled them too.

1 whole trout, book cut
Cherry tomatoes, about 10-15
1 ½ t Kosher salt
Chopped fresh rosemary (about 2 t)
Lemon wedges
Equipment: I usually just do this on the Weber, but tonight I fired up the Weber Smokey Mountain bullet smoker because I can move it under the deck (it was raining), and our Weber grill is pretty well stuck in our wishing well brick “pit”.

Wood: Smoked with grape vine tonight. Any mild wood will do as trout really takes on smoke because of its oil content. We happen to have an old vine clinging to our alley fence that we clip back each year and season for smoking.

1) Book-cut trout by cutting along both sides of backbone without slicing through as you would when cutting a fillet. This way it lays nicely flat.
2) Sprinkle 1 t kosher salt on inside of fish.
3) Make fire for indirect-medium heat and “get your smoke on”. In this case I put seasoned grape vines directly on coals. No soaking. Aim for a slightly lower medium heat of 275-300 degrees. Place fish, skin side down, on indirect side and cook for 40-45 minutes with the lid down. Cut cherry tomatoes in half, toss with ½ t salt and chopped rosemary. Spread on top of the fish. Serve with squeezed lemon.

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