Provided by: Chef Bill Telepan
Hot Smoked Trout
2 whole trout, filleted, skin on, pin bones removed
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 cup wood chips, preferably apple or alder (do not soak in water)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1⁄3 cup olive oil
2 medium Yukon gold potatoes (about 3⁄4 pound), peeled and cut into chunks
2⁄3 cup milk
1 tablespoon sour cream
3⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
2 teaspoons butter
Sweet-Onion Sour Cream
2 tablespoons butter
1⁄2 cup minced Vidalia or other sweet onion
Kosher salt to taste
1⁄4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 ounces Sevruga caviar
Generously salt and pepper the trout, and lay the fillets skin side down on a wire rack.Start a fire in a Weber grill with 10 to 15 coals. Let the coals burn until the temperature reaches 150 to 170 degrees, then carefully spread the coals to form a single layer on one side of the grill. Set the grill rack on the highest setting, and place 2 bricks (or Pyrex loaf pans) on it, away from the coals. Sprinkle wood chips over the coals, and blow on them to start the wood smoking. Place the rack holding the trout fillets on top of the bricks and cover the grill, leaving the top and bottom vents open. Smoke the trout until it is just opaque, about 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool. Remove the skin and bones, and flake the trout into large chunks. Place the lemon juice in a bowl, whisk in the oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the flaked trout to the vinaigrette, and mix well; check seasoning.
Place the potatoes in a saucepan of salted water, bring to a boil, and cook until tender. Drain, return the potatoes to the pan, and stir over medium heat until the potatoes are dry. Pass them through a ricer or food mill, or press through a wire sieve. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, milk, and sour cream. In another small bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Stir egg mixture into flour mixture, add 1 cup of riced potato and the chives, and stir until combined. Melt butter in an ovenproof sauté pan over medium heat. When it starts to bubble, pour in 1⁄3 cup batter to form a 4-inch-diameter blini. Cook one or two blinis at a time—do not crowd the pan. When the edges of the blini begin to turn brown, after 30 seconds to 1 minute, pop the pan into the oven until the blini’s surface is set, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, flip the blini over, and cook on the stovetop for 1 to 2 more minutes over medium heat. (If the blinis are getting too dark, reduce the stovetop heat.) Transfer the blinis to a wire rack, and repeat with remaining batter.
Melt butter over low heat in a small saucepan, add the onion, and sprinkle with salt. Cover the pan, and cook slowly for about 10 minutes, until the onion is tender; do not allow it to color. Set aside to cool. In a small bowl, mix the onion with sour cream and lemon juice.
Place 1 blini on each plate, spread it with 1 tablespoon of the sweet-onion sour cream, and pile the trout on top. Top with caviar.