While I really like the idea of having posts saved as a draft for later posting, I've found that if I wait too long, my memory of the dish isn't as useful. Arrgh! :)
What I do remember is this: I made this sauce at the same time I was making the tomatillo rice for the barbacoa dinner (similar ingredients and all). And as you can see from the photo and recipe, I used salmon instead of trout, because that's what they had at the grocery store. The photo itself could have been better, but I plated the cucumber too early, and it oozed all over the place. O well!
The husband and I really enjoyed the fresh creaminess of the cucumber salad in contrast with the smoky heat of the tomatillo sauce, and both were really nice with the crispy salmon. I have extra sauce in the freezer, and I plan to try it on chicken at a later date. Or I might just make this again, and hopefully with actual trout.
Grilled Trout with Smoky Tomatillo Sauce and Cucumber Salad
c/o Alex Roberts, featured in Food & Wine Magazine, August 2007
One medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced into thin half-moons
2 dried guajillo chiles
1 dried chipotle chile
2 cups boiling water
5 medium tomatillos, husked and rinsed out (6 ounces)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped mint
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup sour cream
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
Four 6- to 8-ounce trout fillets, with skin
In a colander, toss the cucumber with teaspoon of salt and let stand until wilted, about 25 minutes. Pat dry.
Meanwhile, soak the guajillo and chipotle chiles in the boiling water until softened, 20 minutes. Discard the stems and seeds and coarsely chop the chiles.
Light a grill. Grill the tomatillos over high heat until they are charred all over, about 5 minutes. Discard the charred skins and coarsely chop the tomatillos.
In a small skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add two-thirds of the minced garlic and the onion and cook them over moderate heat until softened, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a blender and add the chopped chiles and tomatillos and the cilantro and mint. Puree the sauce and season with salt and pepper.
In a medium bowl, toss the wilted cucumbers with the sour cream, jalapeño, parsley and the remaining minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
Brush the trout fillets with vegetable oil and season with salt and pepper. Oil the grate and grill the fish over high heat, skin side down, until the skin is crisp, about 3 minutes. Turn the fish and grill until it is just cooked through, about 2 minutes longer. Transfer the fish to plates and serve with the chile-tomatillo sauce and cucumber salad alongside.
MAKE AHEAD The chile-tomatillo sauce can be refrigerated overnight. Bring the sauce to room temperature before serving.
WINE Trout, like most freshwater fish, is fairly delicate (even when grilled), so a large-scale wine is apt to overwhelm it. A California rosé is light enough to pair with the trout but has enough ripe fruitiness for the spicy tomatillo sauce. One good option is the melony 2006 Beckmen Purisima Mountain Vineyard Grenache Rosé.