Salad as a Meal, Healthy Main-Dish Salads for Every Season by Patricia Wells includes recipes like Bacon-Wrapped Goat Cheese with Dandelion Greens; Home-Smoked Trout, Tarragon, and Cucumber Salad with Horseradish Cream; and Salmon and Halibut Tartare with Fennel, Chives, Avocado, and Pistachio Oil.
I find a small stovetop home smoker to be essential in my kitchen and on average smoke fish, shellfish, or poultry once a week for a very quick, carefree salad meal. I make this dish with the traditional dill as well as tarragon. A particular variety of tarragon known as Mexican tarragon grows well in dry climates and has a fine, smooth, peppery taste.
Equipment: a stove-top smoker; 1 tablespoon alder wood chips; a small jar with a lid; 4 chilled large dinner plates.
1. Arrange the wood chips in a small pile in the center of the smoker base. Place the drip tray on top of the wood chips inside the smoker base. Arrange the wire rack on top of the drip tray. Stuff the cavity of each trout with 1/2 tablespoon of the tarragon, and season with salt and pepper. Place the trout side by side on top of the wire rack. Slide the lid closed.
2. Set the entire unit on the burner over moderate heat. Counting from the time you place the smoker on the burner, smoke for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and open the lid. The fish should flake when touched with a fork. Fillet the trout and break it into small flaked pieces.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the dressing: In the small jar, combine the cream, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, the horseradish, and 2 tablespoons of the remaining tarragon. Cover and shake to blend.
4. Place the cucumbers and scallions in a large, shallow bowl. Toss with half of the dressing. Toss the flaked trout with the remaining 1 tablespoon tarragon and the remaining dressing. Arrange the cucumbers on the plates. Place the dressed trout alongside. Garnish with the lemon zest. Serve.
Note: Camerons smokers and alder wood chips are available from my Amazon Store on PatriciaWells.com.
Variation: In the summer, add slices of slightly under-ripe Evergreen or Green Zebra tomatoes.
Wine Suggestion: Home-smoked trout has a very delicately smoky flavor, one that marries well with a young, light white. My choice is a Burgundian Aligoté, particularly one from Aubert de Villaine. His is considered the greatest example of wine made from the Aligoté grape and offers a fine balance of acid and fruit, perfect for this light fish salad.
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This page created June 2011
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