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Fish and Shellfish, Lunch, Pescatarian

Smoked trout

Smoked trout
Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

It's dawn, and you're camped at a small creek in the Sierra Nevada foothills, just south of Mammoth, a few hours from the chaos of Los Angeles. Maybe you're at Rock Creek, maybe McGee Creek. The quaking aspens and pine ... Read more

Total time: 30 minutes, plus brining and smoking times | Serves 6 to 12
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 large (or 2 small) bay leaf, crushed
  • 6 (1/2- to 3/4-pound) whole trout, cleaned
  • Wood shavings for smoking, preferably alder or applewood

Step 1In a large nonreactive container, combine the water, salt, sugar, shallots, garlic, lemon zest and bay leaf, stirring until the salt and sugar dissolve to create a brine.

Step 2Add the trout to the container, using a plate or weight to keep the trout under water. Place the container in the refrigerator for 6 hours.

Step 3Remove the trout from the brine and discard the brine. Rinse and dry the trout and place them on a rack over a rimmed sheet pan. Refrigerate the trout, uncovered, overnight to dry the surface.

Step 4The next day, prepare the hot smoker. Smoke the trout over low heat (about 225 degrees) until firm and fully cooked, about 1 hour. The trout will keep, covered and refrigerated, up to 5 days.


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