Here's that pickled trout as promised in the most recent Unique Culinary Adventures post. It's our take on the pickled herring New Year's tradition. Pickling can make trout and herring seem more similar to one another than you'd think. This preparation, which was adapted from a recipe in the vintage cookbook Classic Cold Cusine by Karen Green, is simple and quick. Once together, Ms. Green's recipe says to "cover and refrigerate 12 -24 hours." We tried it at 12 hours, again at 24, most recently at 48, and it just got better and better. Here's the recipe as prepared and pictured above. .
2 pounds fresh rainbow or other fresh water trout
3 cups water
1 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
6 peppercorns---we used pink peppercorns and they worked fine
4 whole cloves
4 whole allspice
2 whole garlic cloves
* lemons wedges for garnish
Slice the bodies of ecah trout into three to five pieces. In a medium size pot or large saucepan, combine the pickling ingredients. Bring to a boil, cover to leave a slight opening, and reduce to a rapid simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Increase heat to a boil again and add the trout. Poach trout in the pickling liquid for 3 to 6 minutes, or until barely tender. Remove pot from heat and allow to rest for a few minutes. Carefully remove trout from pot and place in an attractive refrigerator-to-the-table bowl or dish with a lip. Pour pickling liquid over top. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours. At serving time, you may find that the pickling liquid has jelled. This is due to whatever natural gelatin was in the fish bones. Fifteen seconds in the microwave got rid of it for us. Serve as you wish by placing the dish with a spoon on the dinner table, or perhaps draining and placing individual pieces on small lettuce-lined salad plates.
*Ms. Green's recipe says to garnish with lemon wedges. We didn't. The lemon you see in the picture was part of the marinade.
Adapted from Classic Cold Cusine, by Karen Green, copyright 1984 by Karen Green