Crab Stuffed Smoked Trout

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
Salt
Tooth picks

The day we cooked this recipe, we cooked three trout. Two of them were done as described in this post:

Rainbow trout
Look at those beauties!

Let’s start by cutting some diagonal slits along the sides:

Slicing trout
This helps with presentation and helps to get that chorizo grease into the meat

And then let’s break some some toothpicks in half and prop the mouth open with the half picks:

Prop open the mouth with half a tooth pick

Three salmon propped open

It’s time to get to that chorizo. We fried the beef chorizo in a pan:

Sauteed beef chorizo sausage
See the liquid in the front? That’s liquid gold right there!

Brush that chorizo fat on the inside of the fish:

Brushing chorizo grease on the inside of a trout
Like Rembrandt but with chorizo grease

Be sure to sprinkle some salt in there at this point (not pictured).

Here we put half of the chorizo inside the cavity:

Chorizo being stuffed into the trout
We can’t get enough of that chorizo

Then add half of the crab meat and chopped onions:

Stuffing crab into the trout
Crab is king!

On a side note on the crab meat. We got this in the refrigeration section at the grocery store:

Can of crab meat
That’s a lot of crab, particularly since there is a second can in the back!

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:

Sliced citrus fruit
Use a variety of different colors for presentation

Then slide some of those slices into the trout cavity:

Citrus slices stuffed into a trout
I wish we had some blood oranges

For the herbs, one of the trout we did with fresh dill and one with fresh flat leaf parsley. This one is the parsley:

Herbs added to the cavity of a trout
Time to add the greenery

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:

Trussing the trout
Time to tie her up

Now brush some of that glorious chorizo grease on the outside:

Brushing chorizo grease on the skin of the trout
Brush on that liquid gold

Hit it with some salt and then smoosh on some of that roasted garlic:

Roasted garlic being applied to the outside of a stuffed trout
A little roasted garlic is always a good idea

Now we’re ready for the grill. I prepared my Green Mountain Grills Davy Crockett real wood pellet grill to 225:

Crab Stuffed Smoked Trout
How pretty is that?!?!

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:

Crab Stuffed Smoked Trout
CHOMP!

And let’s get them both on the cooker:

Crab Stuffed Smoked Trout
That is one sexy smoker

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:

Crab Stuffed Smoked Trout measuring 135F
Ready to serve! Somebody ring the dinner bell!

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:

Crab Stuffed Smoked Trout on a platter
Time to make a bunch of people happy and full

And here we are dressed a little for presentation:

Crab Stuffed Smoked Trout on a dressed up platter
Dressed for dinner

And in about 30 seconds we had this:

The skeleton of a rainbow trout
Mmmmmmm fish bones

And evidently taking a pic of a fish skeleton is very intensive work:

David holding up the trout skeleton and me taking a pic
David is all smiles and I’m all business

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:

Butterflied stuffed smoked trout
You didn’t think we just threw that in the freezer did you?

 

Crab Stuffed Smoked Trout

Rainbow trout stuffed with beef chorizo sausage, crab meat, citrus slices, and fresh herbs before being smoked to perfection
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Seafood

Ingredients

  • 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
  • Salt
  • Tooth picks

Instructions

  • 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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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