Every year, myself and 20-30 of my extended family head to Northern Michigan where we rent some quaint cottages over looking the water and enjoy the lakes, pool, beaches, kayaking, fire pit and most of all some grilling. This year we grilled four of the seven days we were there. And one of those days we had Michigan native Chef David Olson and founder of Live Fire Republic come by and work his magic on some rainbow trout (caught by our friend Danny! Thanks, Danny!) The recipe was such a hit that I decided to dig through the pics from everyone’s phones to come up with enough visual content to show exactly how this recipe is done. And while the trout was delicious, the chorizo was the key to the dish. More on that in a minute.
And before we get going on the recipe, just know that the trout is like a blank canvas just waiting for a wide variety of ingredients to make an amazing dish. Here’s another simple recipe like this one to show how easy this is.
Crab Stuffed Smoked Trout Ingredients:
2 Rainbow trout, gutted and cleaned (approximately 2.25 lbs each)
1 lb of beef chorizo, divided
2 Six ounce cans of lump crab, divided
3 Whole citrus fruits, sliced
1 Purple onion, chopped
1 Bunch fresh herbs
Ear garlic, roasted and gooey
The day we cooked this recipe, we cooked three trout. Two of them were done as described in this post:
Let’s start by cutting some diagonal slits along the sides:
And then let’s break some some toothpicks in half and prop the mouth open with the half picks:
It’s time to get to that chorizo. We fried the beef chorizo in a pan:
Brush that chorizo fat on the inside of the fish:
Be sure to sprinkle some salt in there at this point (not pictured).
Here we put half of the chorizo inside the cavity:
Then add half of the crab meat and chopped onions:
On a side note on the crab meat. We got this in the refrigeration section at the grocery store:
The only problem is that is the 16 ounce can. We got two of these. We only needed 12 ounces total!?! OOPS!
Now slice up that citrus fruit:
Then slide some of those slices into the trout cavity:
For the herbs, one of the trout we did with fresh dill and one with fresh flat leaf parsley. This one is the parsley:
Next up is trussing the fish up with butchers twine so that none of all of that gorgeous stuffing slides out while putting the fish on the grill, cooking, or removing from the grill:
Now brush some of that glorious chorizo grease on the outside:
Hit it with some salt and then smoosh on some of that roasted garlic:
Now we’re ready for the grill. I prepared my Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett real wood pellet grill to 225:
Two of the Davy Crockett travel grill from Green Mountain Grills easily feed 30+ on any given night. One can hold a full brisket packer or two whole pork butts.
And a close up of that presentation:
And let’s get them both on the cooker:
In general these don’t take that long. The smaller one was done in about 45 minutes and the slightly bigger one was done in a little over 50 minutes. Target temp is 135F. According to my trust (and must have for any pitmaster) Thermapen it looks like we NAILED it:
Now why is that fish on that aluminum pan? Because the one in the back was done first and we had to take this one out to get to the one in the back and we needed something to set it on and this aluminum pan was sitting there. It was dirty on the inside, but the bottom was perfectly clean so we flipped it upside down and it became a tray and went right back into the grill, make shift tray and all.
Here are the trout ready to serve:
And here we are dressed a little for presentation:
And in about 30 seconds we had this:
And evidently taking a pic of a fish skeleton is very intensive work:
So how was it? I honestly only got a couple bites because it was gone so quickly because we had more than 20 people sharing 4 cabins. But the couple bites I got were absolutely amazing. Let me tell how good it is in the form of a story. My oldest son is 12. For a 12 year old he’s a really good eater. Best of my four kids. He eats just about anything. All except but fish. Last year in Michigan we did a fish fry and he tried some deep fried bass and decided that was good, but still would not eat any grilled or baked fish. Well, he tried this. Lo and behold, he now likes more than just deep fried fish. Score!
Oh and if you are wondering what we did with the third rainbow trout:
Crab Stuffed Smoked Trout
- 2 Rainbow trout gutted and cleaned (approximately 2.25 lbs each)
- 1.5 lb of beef chorizo
- 2 Six ounce cans of lump crab
- 3 Whole citrus fruits sliced
- 1 Purple onion chopped
- 1 Bunch fresh herbs
- Ear of garlic roasted
- Tooth picks
- Cut diagonal slits in the sides of the trout
- Fry up the chorizo, after it cools brush the grease on the inside of the trout
- Salt the inside of the fish
- Add the cooked chorizo, crab meat, chopped onion, sliced citrus fruit and fresh herbs
- Truss the fish with butchers twine to keep all the stuffing inside
- Brush chorizo grease on the outside of the rainbow trout
- Salt the outside
- Smoosh on some roasted garlic on the outside
- Prepare the grill for 225F internal temp
- Place the crab stuffed rainbow trout on the smoke and close the lid
- Target temp of the fish is 135F which takes 40-60 minutes depending on the size of the trout