Smoke ’em if you got ’em – fresh trout on sale at Raley’s

Well, this is a fine mess you've gotten us into!

Well, this is a fine mess you’ve gotten us into!

The other day my husband and I went over to Raley’s to look for a few grocery items, and we saw they had “fresh” trout on sale for $4.99 a pound. That’s actually quite good, so we bought a couple and grilled them for dinner. All the while feeling like we should have bought a few more to throw in the smoker. Wow, what a dinner that was, so we went back next day and bought four more nice sized fish to smoke up.

I put “fresh” in quotation marks because I’ve eaten trout after watching them pulled out of a stream or pond, and yeah, that’s different. But these fish were fine enough given we just had to walk into the store and point out the ones we wanted and the man just wrapped them up and gave them to us.

We smoke some salmon almost every year, but we’d never tried trout, so we went to youtube for some mentorship.  We found a good video about boning the fish – my husband used his filet knife to remove the backbone and then lifted out most of the remaining bones all together. It got better as he went along, the fourth fish was easy.

Then he made a very simple dry rub with two cups of brown sugar and a half cup salt.

Ooooo, brown sugar - how come you taste so good?

Ooooo, brown sugar – how come you taste so good?

Spread them out in their sugar bed and then dollop on more sugar.

Spread them out in their sugar bed and then dollop on more sugar. I know, the little eyes are so accusing.

We usually use a lot of water and soy sauce, but look what happens when you set some fish in a “dry” rub overnight.

Fish juice.

Fish juice.

Well, here’s the funny part – after they soak in this solution for 10 – 12 hours, you have to wash them!

Not as bad as bathing Biscuit.

Not as bad as bathing Biscuit.

Still sugary and now stiff at little boards, we laid the fish on raised racks over cookie sheets to dry.

Still sugary and now stiff as little boards, we laid the fish on raised racks over cookie sheets to dry out some.

Okay, here’s a very important part – don’t dump the fish juice down your sink, for mercy sake.

Bucket 'o fish juice!

Bucket ‘o fish juice!

Ha ha, I know, a lot of people think “down the drain” is really going somewhere.  No,  “down the drain” is a short ride into your p-trap – that little p-shaped pipe right there under your sink. That’s where bad smells go to have babies!

We clean our p-trap fairly regularly, cause my husband is a landlord and he has a tool box full of all kinds of weird shit. If you don’t know how to take the pipes under your sink apart and put them back together, here’s a tip – don’t put stinky stuff down your sink!  Save plastic containers with tight fitting lids. Old jars are okay as long as you don’t put hot grease in them. Above you see, we use cottage cheese when we make a calzone, and those containers are dishwasher safe. You can use them to store food, and for disposals such as this.  I have a drawer in my kitchen, just like my grandma and my mom had, to save re-usable containers. It never gets too crowded, because I actually use the stuff.

After the fish had dried for an hour or so, we loaded them into the Little Chief. I won’t picture that here, because I’ve heard it’s racist!

There's that golden brown color you're looking for.

There’s that golden brown color you’re looking for.

They turned out so nice, I may send a picture to New Scandinavian Cooking.  Tasted great, my husband and I stood and ate half a fish at the kitchen counter.  No bones about it!

 

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