Smoked Trout Salad With Mixed Greens, Gin-and-Tonic Cucumbers, Acidulated Onion, Cracked Pepper Vinaigrette and Spruce Tips
Recipe courtesy of Andrew Haapala, Executive Chef, The Country Club of Virginia (Richmond, Va.)
- Ingredients for trout:
- water - 1 kg.
- salt - 50 gms.
- sugar - 40 gms.
- rainbow trout - 1 6-8 oz. filet
- Ingredients for black pepper vinaigrette:
- red wine vinegar - 1 cup
- Dijon mustard - 1 Tbsp.
- shallot brunoise - 2 Tbsps.
- garlic brunoise - 1 tsp.
- kosher salt - 1/2 tsp.
- coarsely ground black pepper - 1 tsp.
- honey - 1 Tbsp.
- extra virgin olive oil - 3 cups
- Ingredients for mixed greens and spruce tips:
- spruce tips - .25 oz.
- local mixed greens - 2 ozs.
- Ingredients for gin-and-tonic cucumbers:
- baby cucumbers - 6 ea., sliced in half-moons
- Hendrick’s gin - 1.5 oz.
- Fever-Tree tonic - 3 oz.
- fresh lime - 1 ea., squeezed
- CO2 - charge overnight in a mini keg or iSi canister
- Ingredients for acidulated red onion:
- red onion - 1 ea., julienned
- water - 1 qt.
- white vinegar - 1 cup
Procedure for trout:
- Heat the water, then mix in the salt and sugar and allow it to cool overnight.
- Brine the trout for 30 minutes. Pull from the brine and let it air dry.
- Hot-smoke the trout with your choice of wood, but start slowly and bring it up to an internal temperature of 140°F.
- Finish the trout in the broiler on hot cast iron to crisp the skin and achieve a light golden-brown color.
Chef’s Note: Applewood smoke is preferred.
Procedure for black pepper vinaigrette:
- Whisk together the vinegar, mustard, shallot, garlic, salt, pepper and honey until combined. Slowly whisk in the oil until emulsified. Reserve.
Procedure for mixed greens and spruce tips:
- Blanch the spruce tips quickly in salted water and cut them into quarters. Reserve.
- In a salad bowl, toss the greens lightly in the black pepper vinaigrette with the spruce tips. Reserve for plating.
Procedure for gin-and-tonic cucumbers:
- Cut the cucumbers and marinate them in the gin, tonic and lime overnight in a mini keg or iSi canister.
Procedure for acidulated red onion:
- Blanch and shock the red onion in the water and white vinegar for 30 seconds and let it air dry in a cooler on a paper towel.
- Place the greens and spruce tips in the center of the plate and top them with the gin-and-tonic cucumbers and acidulated onion. Place the trout adjacent to the salad. Using a smoking gun, fill the cloche with your choice of smoke. Serve.
Chef’s Note: Be sure to spread the spruce tips evenly among the plates as they are quite potent.