Main Course

Smoked Trout & Fennel Pesto

January 9, 2018

Smoked rainbow trout is what this post is all about. This recipe will walk you through a beautifully composed trout dish that has finesse, flavor, fundamentals, and a good helping of downright fun.

 

 

Remove the pin bones from your trout fillets. Using a pair of fish tweezers and patience. 

If you don’t want to deal with pin boning the fish I’d recommend asking your butcher nicely to do it for you. This will really save you some prep time. 

When you’ve cleaned your trout; start your curing mixture.

Chop up some fresh parsley, fennel fronds, and picked thyme. 

In a mixing bowl put in 1/4 cup of kosher salt. Typically, non-iodized salts are preferred for curing. 

Add 1 teaspoon of lemon zest using a fine microplane or grater. 

Add 2 tablespoons white sugar. The addition of sugar makes the saltiness less heavy and alleviates it whenever curing. 

Give it all a good mix, making sure to really squeeze it all together which will bring all the flavors out. 

Massage a generous amount of the cure onto the top sides of the fillets, and let them sit for twenty minutes.

After time has passed give each fillet a rinse in chilled water to remove the cure. Place the fish on dry paper towels after giving them a bath.

Get your coals or a few charcoal briquettes and break them up to fit into a sheet tray. Give them a good torching, and you could do this outside so your kitchen doesn’t get too smokey.

Set a rack on top of the hot coals and place each fillet accordingly skin side down.

Cover and let cook for around seven minutes or just until cooked through. Make sure it’s not too hot and grilling your fish.

Remove the rack of fillets and check doneness after the time has passed.

Remove the skin slowly and patiently, it should come off with ease. If the skin won’t give, then it needs more time. 

Quick tip: crispily fried fish skins make for a delicious snack or addition to many dishes. 

Transfer onto a tray with a drizzle of olive oil. and if you’re not serving immediately you can set them covered in the fridge.

Coat them all generously with olive oil.

Next is my take on one of my favorite types of pestos. Start by chopping a handful of capers.

Go ahead and halve 2 tablespoons of toasted pine nuts.

A closer look at halving each nut one by one patiently.

Chop about 4 tablespoons of fresh fennel fronds. Make sure to keep the stalks on for that very nice faint hint of licorice in each bite.

Mix everything together with 1 tablespoon of julienned lemon peel, 4 tablespoons good tasting olive oil and fresh cracked black pepper to your liking.

Spoon some pesto all around the center of the plate to create a focal point for your fish.

Thinly slice some fennel and toss it in the pesto lightly. place in the center of the plate as your landing point for your fish. 

Trim both ends of the fish to square off the piece for a nice presentation.

Drizzle nice olive oil on the Trout and finish with some fresh cracked black pepper and finishing salt.

For the crouton topping chop some fresh rosemary.

Dice some stale bread or toasty. 

Season with salt and pepper.

Mix it up by hand.

Add 1 tablespoon of butter to a hot saucepot and add the croutons to the pot once the butter has browned.

Finish your Fennel trout dish with brown buttered croutons.

Add a squeeze of lemon for brightness and a touch of herbs.

Smoked Trout & Fennel Pesto

Smoked Trout & Fennel Pesto

Ingredients

  • 2- 1lb rainbow trout (pin-boned)
  • 1 fennel bulb with tops
  • Salt Cure:
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped thyme
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • Fennel Pesto:
  • 2 tbsp chopped capers
  • 2 tbsp halved pinenuts
  • 4 tbsp chopped fennel fronds
  • 1 tsp sliced lemon peel
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • Cracked black Peppe to taste
  • Buttery Croutons
  • 1 sliced toasted bread
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp chopped rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Remove the pin bones from your trout fillets. Using a pair of fish tweezers and patience. 
  2. If you don't want to deal with pin boning the fish I'd reccomend asking your butcher nicely to do it for you. This will really save you some prep time. 
  3. When you've cleaned your trout; start your curing mixture by chopping some fresh parsley, fennel fronds, and picked thyme. 
  4. In a mixing bowl put in 1/4 cup of kosher salt. Typically, non-iodized salts are preferred for curing. 
  5. 1 teaspoon lemon zest in with a fine microplane or grater. 
  6. Add 2 tablespoons white sugar. The addition of sugar makes the saltiness less heavy and alleviates it whenever curing. 
  7. Give it all a good mix, making sure to really squeeze it all together which will bring all the flavors out. 
  8. Massage a generous amount of the cure onto the top sides of the fillets, and let them sit for twenty minutes.
  9. After time has passed give each fillet a rinse in chilled water to remove the cure. Place the fish on dry paper towels after giving them a bath.
  10. Get your coals or a few charcoal briquettes and break them up to fit into a sheet tray. Give them a good torching, and you could do this outside so your kitchen doesn't get to smokey.
  11. Set a rack on top of the hot coals and place each fillet accordingly skin side down.
  12. Cover and let cook for around seven minutes or just until cooked through. Make sure its not too hot and grilling your fish.
  13. Remove the rack of fillets and check doneness after the time has passed.
  14. Remove the skin slowly and patiently ,it should come off with ease. If the skin won't give, then it needs more time. 
  15. Quick tip: crispy fried fish skins make for a delicious snack or addition to many dishes. 
  16. Transfer onto a tray with a drizzle of olive oil. and if you're not serving immediately you can set them covered in the fridge.
  17. Coat them all generously in the olive oil.
  18. Next is my take on one of my favorite types of pestos. Start by chopping a handful of capers
  19. Go ahead and halve 2 tablespoons of toasted pine-nuts
  20. a closer look at halving each nut one by one patiently
  21. Chop about 4 tablespoons of fresh fennel fronds. Make sure top keep the stalks on for that very nice faint hint of licorice in each bite.
  22. Mix everything together with 1 tablespoon of julienned lemon peel, 4 tablespoons good tasting olive oil and fresh cracked black pepper to your liking.
  23. Spoon some pesto all around the center of the plate to create a focal point for your fish.
  24. Thinly slice some fennel and toss it in the pesto lightly. place in the center of the plate as your landing point for your fish. 
  25. trim both ends of the fish to square off the piece for a nice presentation.
  26. Drizzle nice olive oil on the Trout and finish with some fresh cracked black pepper and finishing salt.
  27. For the crouton topping chop some fresh rosemary.
  28. Dice some stale bread or toasty. 
  29. Season with Salt and pepper.
  30. Mix it up by hand
  31. Add 1 tablespoon of butter to a hot saucepot and add the croutons to the pot once the butter has browned.
  32. Finish your Fennel trout dish with brown buttered croutons 
  33. Add a squeeze of lemon for brightness and a touch of herbs.
http://www.byrontalbott.com/smoked-trout-fennel-pesto/

| Top Left: Cutting Board | Top Middle: Boning Tweezers | Top Right: Baking Sheet & Wire Wrack |
| Bottom Left: Metal Bowl Set | Bottom Middle: Glass Bowl Set | Bottom Right: All-Clad Pan |

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