Thursday, May 28, 2009

Trout Fest 2009

We had another wonderful Memorial Day at Star Prairie Trout Farm for their 2009 Trout Fest. This is the second year that we have attended with our Lucille's Kitchen Garden Savory Jams, but the first where I was asked to cook. With all that wonderful fresh trout, surrounded by 150 year old natural trout ponds, how could I resist. First a bit about the farm, then the recipe that I used.

Star Prairie Trout Farm is located about an hour out of the metro just across the boarder in Star Prairie Wisconsin. As I said before, the trout ponds have been around for about 150 years and due to their location next to the Apple River, a natural spring of water keeps the pond temperatures at 45 degrees year round. They offer tours, fee fishing on sight, as well as fresh and smoked trout products at the Mill City Farmers' Market. It is a wonderful family day trip with the bonus of driving through Still water, MN where you can stop in at the River Market Co-op and pick up the Lucille's Kitchen Garden Jam that you use for the this recipe.

With the exception of a few family reunions, this is the largest group of folks that I have ever cooked for, so I kept the recipe really simple. I was very grateful to have had two wonderful students from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts to assist me in plating. FYI this recipe also works well with salmon.


  • 4 medium sized salmon fillets preferably skin on

  • 1/2 Jar Lucille's Kitchen Garden Garlic Pepper Jam

  • 1 shot good Irish Whiskey

  • 2 TBS Lucille's Kitchen Garden Raspberry Garlic Jam

  • Fresh Greens

  • 2 parts good extra virgin olive oil to 1 part apple cider vinegar (for every table spoon of vinegar use two tablespoons of olive oil)

Instructions: Whisk together Garlic Pepper Jam and Whiskey to make a glaze. Lightly salt and pepper fresh trout fillets and paint on a thin layer of glaze over the top. Place on a hot grill (indirect, high heat is the best, so if you are working with a gas grill consider lighting only one side at high and grilling on the unlit side) Place the trout, skin side down and close the grill. You are not going to flip the trout over, it will cook from the bottom up. The skin side should protect the actual meat of the fish from burning. I feel that with fish fillets, flipping causes all the juices that rise to the top to be tipped off leaving you with a dry, flavorless fish. Grill until you can see by gently prying apart at the thickest point, that the fish is completely cooked. Do not over cook or it will cause the fish to dry out.

The Raspberry Garlic Vinaigrette can be made in advance or while the fish is on the grill. Simply whisk together the vinegar and garlic pepper jam. Slowly add, in a thin stream, the olive oil and whisk thoroughly to emulsify.

Serve the trout fillets over a bed of mixed greens and dress with vinaigrette. Adjust your salt and pepper to taste. If you are using this as a starter or a salad you can serve a half fillet with the salad, which will serve eight.

I hope you get a chance to try this recipe, as I think that it is a great way to a quick, fresh, local meal. Have a great day and we will see you at the market!