If you've visited the Smoky Mountains, then you've seen fly-fishermen standing in clear, rushing creeks. Trout fishing is part sport and part romance--and it can end in a fine meal if you are very, very lucky. Simple, pan-fried trout is considered a delicacy in east Tennessee; but if you want to knock the flavor over the moon, add smoke, bacon, and crab meat.
Smoked Rainbow Trout
Wrapped in Bacon & Stuffed with Crabmeat
Soak whole, cleaned trout in salt-lemon water for 1 hour.
Make the Crab Stuffing:
2 cans lump crab meat, drained and picked over
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1 to 2 tsps smoked paprika
1/4 to 1/2 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs
1 tsp lemon juice
Dash of Tabasco
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp (or to taste) Kosher salt
Mix ingredients and set aside.
Prepare the Trout:
Lay the trout on bacon strips. Through a side split in the trout, stuff with crab mixture.
Roll bacon around the trout. If desired, sprinkle with more Old Bay Seasoning.
Heat smoker to 225 degrees F (give or take 10 degrees). Smoke the trout for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, checking frequently. The final temperature should be approximately 160 degrees F.
Remove from smoker. Garnish with lemon and parsley. If you can find watercress, it pairs wonderfully with smoked fish.
"Everything was a rainbow, rainbow, rainbow!
And I let the fish go."
--"The Fish," Elizabeth Bishop, American Poet