I have been trying to add more fish to my diet – and one fish that I really like is smoked trout. It is incredibly rare in Israel – and therefore very expensive.
Before I start – after making this recipe I realised that the bought smoked trout must be cold smoked and therefore this recipe tastes different to bought products – but still a really good alternative fish meal.
The only issue that I had was that fillets of such a delicate fish would be impossible to remove from the smoker without damaging and so I bought from Amazon a couple of Mesh Mats as can be seen below. This blog can also be taken as a simple review (use of document) of the Grillaholics Grill Mats.
7 fillets of trout with the skin on (can be bought at David’s in Machane Yehuda – The Ivrit name for the fish is Porrel)
2 litres of cold water
1/2 cup white sugar
2 squeezes silan (date honey/syrup)
1/2 cup coarse sea salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
This is split into 3 parts:
1. The brine
To brine: Put all of the ingredients (except the fish) into a ziplock and shake until dissolved. Add the fish and put in the fridge overnight
To dry: Lay the fish on a plate in the fridge for 24 hours. Place the fish into a dry ziplock and leave in the fridge another 24 hours
To smoke: Prepare your smoker to smoke at 225F/105C. I used only peach wood for the fish
Whilst the smoker/covered grill is coming to temperature (If you are using a dedicated smoker allow the smoker an hour for the temperature to stabilize) wash the mesh mats in soapy water and let them dry. Put the fish on the mats with space around them to allow the smoke to permeate the fish.
Once at temperature put the trout in and cook for 90-105 minutes. Do not allow the fish to dry out by overcooking.
Normally at this point I would give alternatives – but you know what you like and you are fully capable of adding an ingredient to the brine – or even basting the fish with a warmed sauce during the last 20 mins of cooking.
No, here I am going to tell you how we ate these ourselves as you are unlikely to cook a couple of these for supper without storing a few extra fillets for the days to come.
The main picture of the blog is a simple salad that I took to work for lunch. The smoked fish added a dimension to my daily salad and actually made it a much more enjoyable meal….
With the hot fish, I made a gluten free wrap with sauerkraut, lettuce, sunny-side up egg, the trout and some horseradish sauce – which worked really well.
My wife simply had the trout on Jacobs cream crackers (yes, we just got back from a holiday in Europe, where I totally managed to fail to start a disposable barbecue, and brought some English cream crackers back with us) with mayonnaise, trout and lemon juice. (I apologise for the state of the plate – but my wife started eating before I could take the photo and if I spent enough time to change the plate I would have had nothing left to take a photo of …..)
Anything else that you come up with will be great – ideas could include a type of kedgeree using trout instead of cod or even mixing the trout with salmon to make fishcakes.
About the mats
This is the first time that I have ever used mesh mats at all – and I really liked them. They allowed me to put 7 fillets into the smoker in seconds – imagine if you were smoking 5 kg of wings (each wing split into two). If put onto 4 mats prior to cooking, you could open the smoker for less than 30 seconds instead of up to 5 minutes – which in turn allows you to keep the heat in the smoker.
When the mats came out of the smoker they were completely cool to touch after even two minutes – and may of been cool to touch immediately but I didn’t really want to find out by getting blisters on my fingertips……
Also, when the fish came out, the fish came off easily enough that none of my fillets were damaged (one or two did stick slightly but it was easy to get underneath with a fish slice).
After use, the mats were easily washed (by hand) with soap and hot water. You can supposedly put them flat in the top of a dishwasher – but my dishwasher is never that empty!
That’s all for now – we are now coming up to the festive season and I will definitely doing at least 1 bbq meal for this time – hopefully the weather where you are is good enough to light your grill or smoker and just enjoy some time peacefully cooking up a storm whilst enjoying a cool drink or two.