Fennel-Brined Trout Grilled with Bacon and Herbs
The Grill: Direct heat
Gas: Medium-high (400° to 450°F)
Charcoal: Light ash, 10" x 10" charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Wood: Light ash, 10" x 10" bed, 1 inch deep
Prep: 15 minutes
Brine: 1 hour
Grill: 12 minutes
Orange Fennel Brine
- 4 boneless brook trout, about 6 ounces each
- 8 sprigs fresh dill, mint, sage, or rosemary
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 8 slices bacon
- Oil for coating grill grate or basket
- 2 cups orange juice
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fennel seed or anise seed
Makes 4 servings
- Combine ingredients for brine in gallon-size zipper-lock bag; seal and shake until salt and sugar dissolve, about 30 seconds. Trout will be split down their bellies; open them up like book to expose interior to brine. Place fish in brine, press out air, seal, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Heat grill. While grill is heating, remove fish from brine. Place 2 herb sprigs in cavity of each fish; close each fish around herbs. Pat fish skin until dry; rub outside of each fish with olive oil. Wrap 2 slices of bacon around each fish, allowing ends of each strip to meet and overlap slightly. Secure each bacon slice with an oiled wooden toothpick.
- Brush grill grate and coat with oil. If using fish basket, coat basket with oil. Put fish in single layer on grill grate or in grill basket and cover grill. Cook until bacon is cooked through and any exposed fish skin is crisp, about 6 minutes per side. Remove toothpicks and serve.
© 2009 David Joachim and Andrew Schloss, from Mastering the Grill Deck