Smoked Trout

Photo: Danny Kim. Illustrations by John Burgoyne.

It’s trout season, and while no one is suggesting you slip into a pair of hip waders, like those dapper fishermen-boulevardiers in the Tommy Hilfiger ads, and then try your luck in the Central Park Pond, it is the time to visit the Max Creek Hatchery stand at Union Square Greenmarket. Owner Dave Harris sells the brook and rainbow varieties fresh or smoked from a Coleman cooler on Wednesdays only. The fresh are terrific pan-fried in butter and olive oil with a squeeze of lemon, and as for the smoked, you can’t beat the following recipe adapted from April Bloomfield’s new cookbook.

April Bloomfield’s Smoked Trout and Potato Salad

For the dressing:
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 tsp. Maldon sea salt

For the salad:
30 to 35 fingerling-variety potatoes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
2 tbs. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. Maldon sea salt
6 skin-on garlic cloves
6 sprigs of thyme
1 pound whole smoked trout (at Max Creek farm stand and Russ & Daughters)
5 tbs. crème fraîche
1/4 cup chives, finely chopped

For the dressing: In a plastic container with a lid, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. Shake well. For the salad: Preheat oven to 400. Wash the potatoes. Put them in a bowl, drizzle them with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with the sea salt, and toss well. Arrange the potatoes in a clump in a large baking dish rather than spreading them out in 1 layer. Drizzle with the liquid remaining in the bowl. Scatter the garlic cloves and thyme on top of and around the potatoes. Add 1/2 cup water to the perimeter of the pan but not on top of the potatoes. Cover the pan with 2 layers of foil, and place in the oven. Cook until the potatoes are tender, about 40 minutes. Remove the foil, stir the potatoes, and cook uncovered for another 15 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the potatoes from the pan to a bowl, leaving any oil behind, and dress with 2 tablespoons of the dressing. (1) Peel the skin off the trout. (2) Pull the fillets from the center bone. (3) Run your fingers along the flesh to locate and remove pin bones. Break the trout into large chunks, and place them in a mixing bowl. Drizzle on 2 tablespoons of dressing, and shake the bowl to coat the trout. Arrange the potatoes on 4 plates, and scatter with the trout pieces. Add crème fraîche in dollops, and sprinkle on the chives. Serves 4. Adapted from A Girl and Her Pig: Recipes and Stories, by April Bloomfield (Ecco; $29.99).

Smoked Trout