Ramble On

Thursday, June 21, 2012

About the Trout

Last year I came across this great cookbook by Barton Seaver - he's a DC chef, and the book is peppered with photos from around town.  In the book he hits so many good points for me - local, seasonal foods, great ingredients.

Thumbing through it, I found some highlights like the recipe for butternut squash with dates, red onion, and chives - that is in the autumn section, by the way.  I was already sold, but then I found so many seafood recipes that I knew we needed to have this one in the house.

Recently I bought some trout fillets at Whole Paychex, and when I needed a tip on how to grill it, this was the book I reached for to get some ideas.
What I found was the secret to great fish - brining it before cooking it, to minimize the moisture loss from heat.  I'm going to share the recipe for the brine here - and you can find it on page 249 for times for different kinds of fish (BTW, there is a handy Amazon link at the end of the post).

To make the brine, combine two cups of cold water, 1 tablespoon of kosher salt, and 1 tablespoon of sugar.  Stir until everything's dissolved, and then pour it over the fish - there's a photo of some trout in brine here.  After the designated time - trout should be left in the mixture for only 15 minutes, and this is done in the fridge - remove the fillet from the brine and pat dry with a paper towel.

Most fish take longer than trout, but none of Seaver's recipes recommend longer than 40 minutes.  And he warns that leaving fish in the brine too long is likely to ruin your dish.

I've grilled trout twice since I discovered this technique.  I am pretty happy with it - and I am looking forward to grilling other varieties now.

Amazon link to the cookbook:

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