Honey is the most amazing food on the plant but is so much for than just a sweetener or flavoring. This recipe highlights its wide array of uses. In reality, honey acts less as an ingredient in this recipe and more as an edible instrument. This is due to the fact that you will not taste honey in the final dish, instead it acts as a vital part of the brine to help enhance the natural flavors of the trout and maintain the fish's moisture during the smoking process. The result of this scientific process is a juicier and more flavorful product which is a surefire hit when hosting gatherings. This dip results in an exciting demonstration of the flavors of the natural world in a vehicle that is accessible to those who enjoy fresh caught fish as well as those who may not be as used to it.
- 3/4 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup honey of your choice
- ½ cup balsamic vinegar
- 8 cups, lukewarm water
- 6 whole trout, up to 14 inches long, gutted with gills removed.
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- juice and zest from half of a lemon
- two green onions, finely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
Disolve all of the ingredients together and chill. Submerge the trout in the brine and weigh down with a plate or other clean object. Allow them to soak in your refrigerator for 6-8 hours. Remove and rinse the fish and pat dry. Allow to dry in your refrigerator for 2-3 hours until they feel tacky to the touch. Preheat your smoker to 170-200 degrees Fahrenheit. Ley the fish on a rack in your smoker, or, if possible, suspend them using cotton kitchen twine looped over the back, under the gills and up through the mouth in a loop. Smoke over apple chips or pellets, check after two hours. They are finished when the skin can be easily peeled back and the flesh easily flakes off of the bones.
Reserve four of the trout to eat as they are. Take two and flake the flesh into small pieces in a bowl. mix thoroughly with the cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice and zest, green onions, and salt and pepper. Serve with saltines.