Monday, August 22, 2011

Smoked Trout From Town Grill In Lisbon, Plus Cherry Tomatoes Three Ways For Now And Later

One of the best cooking lessons is to let other people do the hard stuff -- even when you're the chef.

Great food takes time.  People already put time into items like sausage, pickles and smoked fish.  With a few minutes, you can throw those items into your own recipes.  Make a start at Town Grill in Lisbon where they smoke their own salmon and trout.

Smoked trout was new to us.  We got four ounces, plus four more of the salmon.  They're fillets with a dry crust from the heat, but a moist, firm flesh that soaked up the smoke.  I broke the fillets with my fingers, and the smoke was strong enough that my hands smelled like barbecue.

We picked 20 pounds of cherry tomatoes at Larriland Farm in Woodbine, just down the road from Town Grill.  I sauteed a pint or so with some chopped onions and herbs.  They broke down into a rough sauce of soft tomatoes and a thin liquid to coat the pasta.  I cooked spaghetti, then broke up the fish with my fingers and threw them into the hot pasta and sauce.

The fish stood up to all those tomatoes.  That smoke is a full flavor, and the fish comes out amazingly moist for something that has clearly been cooked for a while.  That's skill -- and remember:  That's fish from a gas station.

For a little later, I made ripe cherry tomato pickles based on a recipe that I found on the Lindsey's Luscious blog.  You brine tomatoes over night, then pack them in a mixture of vinegar and sugar.  The recipe says not to eat them for three weeks, so I assume they'll last a month or two.

Then, I roasted a bunch to dry them out.  They cooked down over three hours.  Two baking sheets of tomatoes reduced to three cups of meaty roasted shells.  I froze them with an eye on winter -- and because I have two more baking trays of tomatoes left!

Last year, I bought Town Grill's smoked salmon and turned it into a light cream pasta sauce.  S left a comment yesterday saying that she used Larriland's grape tomatoes and Town Grill's salmon for a vodka sauce.  I'm sure you could make some great sandwiches.  


Anonymous said...

Fantastic!! I have been searching for a local place to purchase smoked trout -- it's my absoluter favorite!
I love reading your blog... thanks.

Morty Abzug said...

Speaking of smoked fish, good news! The Hickory Ridge Giant has carried smoked whitefish for the last few weeks. They've restocked at least once. No more need to drive up to Baltimore just for smoked whitefish. I'd like to think that my asking about it every few weeks for the last 8 years may have something to do with this. . .