Time: 40 minutes. Janie Hibler invented this 25 years ago when she had smoked salmon in the fridge and her kids brought in fresh trout. To pair with it, she likes complex, citrusy L'Ecole No. 41 Semillon 2007 (Columbia Valley).
8 whole trout (4 1/2 lbs. total), cleaned, boned, rinsed, and at room temperature
About 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
8 thin slices smoked salmon* (4 to 5 oz. total)
1/2 cup cornmeal
6 to 7 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound (2 pts.) mini multicolored bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and cut in half lengthwise
2 limes, cut in wedges
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 150°. Sprinkle inside of each trout with salt (use about 1/2 tsp. total). Stuff each with a single layer of smoked salmon, dividing evenly. In a large, shallow dish, combine cornmeal and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt. Turn fish in cornmeal to coat evenly.
Pour 2 tbsp. oil into each of two 12-in. frying pans, preferably nonstick, and warm them over medium heat. (Or warm a large griddle over 2 burners.) Put 3 fish in each pan and sauté, turning once, until golden brown outside and no longer translucent in the center, 8 to 9 minutes total; reduce heat if fish start to get too brown. Transfer fish to 1 or 2 large platters and keep warm in oven. Repeat cooking in 1 pan with 1 to 2 more tbsp. oil and remaining fish.
Pour 1 more tbsp. oil into 1 pan (or onto griddle) if it's dry, then set over medium-high heat. Quickly sauté peppers until they're softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt to taste and scatter on top of fish. Serve with lime wedges.
*Use soft, cold-smoked salmon, also called Nova or lox.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
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