Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Alton Brown Fish Recipes

Posted By on Tue, Aug 4, 2009 at 8:17 PM


When Alton Brown, host of the Food Network’s Good Eats and headliner at the Southern Food & Wine Festival in Nashville, wasn’t pushing sardines, he was cooking up trout, a more appealing and attractive fish, to say the least.

Escabeche is a Spanish method for preparing fish. First the trout is seared, then it’s marinated in the refrigerator for a few hours and served at room temperature. Brown’s marinade looked absolutely fantastic and seemed to me like a good option for any type of chicken or fish.

Here’s his recipe, and let us know if you give it a try.

Escabeche of Trout

1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper divided
4 4-8 ounce small whole trout head-on, scaled, gutted and rinsed
1/3 cup olive oil
1 medium red onion julienned
3 cloves garlic sliced
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
3 strips lemon zest

Whisk the flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper in a pie tin or cake pan. Pat the trout dry and dredge on all sides in the seasoned flour.

Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch heavy sauté pan set over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Carefully add the trout to the pan. Cook on each side for 1 minute.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the trout to a 13x9 glass baking dish. Reduce the heat to medium; add the onion and cook until translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, thyme, coriander, paprika, white wine, vinegar, and lemon zest. Decrease the heat to low and simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and pour the marinade over the trout. Refrigerate, uncovered for 1 hour. You may refrigerate for up to 12 hours, but cover after an hour. Serve cool or at room temperature.

Yield: 4 servings
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 12 minutes
Inactive Time: 1 to 12 hours

This was Brown’s recipe for smoked trout. A little too complicated for me, but he swears it’s worth the effort.

Smoked Trout

1 quart water
1/2 cup kosher salt
2 pounds trout filets 3 to 5 ounces each, skin on, pin bones removed

Place the water and salt into a 3 to 4-quart container and stir until the salt has dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the trout, making sure they are submersed. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours.

Remove the trout from the brine, rinse thoroughly, and pat dry. Place the trout, skin side down onto a cooling rack set in a sheet pan. Dry in the refrigerator 21 to 24 hours or until the skin becomes shiny and somewhat tacky to the touch.

The next day, turn the smoker on so that it maintains a temperature of 150-160 degrees. Place the trout onto racks, skin side down, separating them by at least ¼-inch and place into a smoker. Adjust heat as needed and cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the fish is tender, cooked through and has the desired level of smoke flavor.

Yield: 2 pounds smoked trout
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 1/2 to 3 hours
Inactive Time: 27 hours

This dish is something called Rollmops. Since the recipe requires brining and pickling, it’s way, way too complicated for me, but I’m sure this would impress dinner guests!


For the Brine:
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 quart water
1 pound small trout filets Scaled, skin on, pin bones removed, and cut into 16-20 (4-6-inch long x 1-inch wide) pieces

For the pickle:
2 cups water
2 cups cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
8 whole cloves
8 whole allspice berries
6 whole black peppercorns
4 dried bay leaves
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
16-20 cornichon or pickled onion
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 medium onion julienned

For the brine:

Place the salt and water into a 3-quart container and stir until the salt has dissolved. Add the trout, making sure they are submersed. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

For the pickle:

Meanwhile, combine water, vinegar, sugar, cloves, allspice, peppercorns, bay leaves, and red pepper flake in a medium saucepan set over high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, just until the liquid comes to a boil, approximately 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature and then refrigerate overnight.

Remove the trout from the brine and rinse thoroughly under cold running water for 1 to 2 minutes. Submerge the filets in clean cold water and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Drain and rinse the filets. Pat dry. Lay the filets, skin side down and brush lightly with the mustard. Lay a cornichon or a pickled onion on the filet. Roll up each mop and secure with 1 or 2 toothpicks. Place a layer of rollmops in a glass jar or ceramic crock and top with some of the onions. Repeat until all of the rollmops and onions are in the jar.

Pour on the pickling mixture, cover and place in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours and up to 2 days. Drain and serve chilled with crusty bread.

Yield: 16 to 20 rollmops
Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Inactive Time: 5 hours to 2 days

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