Trout "Reuben"

Trout "Reuben"
Trout "Reuben"
Chef Steven Brown uses pumpernickel rolls for this "punk rock sandwich with a $25 cleaning bill;" but you could use any roll you like.Ariana Lindquist

Chef Steven Brown, of Tilia in Minneapolis, uses pumpernickel rolls for this sandwich, but you could use any roll you like. Though this process may seem lengthy, it's worth the effort, as the trout is extremely flavorful after being brined before fried.

Featured in: North Country Fare by Matt and Ted Lee

Trout "Reuben"
Pan-fried trout, homemade 1000-Island dressing, and crunchy kohlrabi slaw render this Reuben variation a punk-rock sandwich with a $25 dry-cleaning bill.
Yield: serves 4
Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

For the Brined Trout and 10,000 Lakes Sauce

  • 1 12 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 12 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 12 tsp. yellow mustard seeds
  • 15 whole allspice berries
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 13 cup plus 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 14 cup brown sugar
  • 1 12 tsp. crushed red chile flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 12 lb. boneless, skinless trout fillets, halved crosswise
  • 6 ancho chiles
  • 2 tbsp. distilled white vinegar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 23 cup canola oil
  • 14 cup ketchup
  • 3 tbsp. diced dill pickles
  • 1 12 tsp. cayenne

For the Pickled Kohlrabi Slaw and Serving

  • 12 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 14 cup sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced, divided
  • 1 (1-inch) piece ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 (3-inch) piece lemongrass, thinly sliced
  • 1 kohlrabi, peeled and julienned
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 14 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 12 tsp. minced chives
  • 1 12 tsp. minced parsley
  • 12 tsp. minced dill
  • 2 radishes, julienned
  • 1 baby bok choy, thinly sliced
  • 12 Honeycrisp apple, julienned
  • 12 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup coarse cornmeal
  • 1 12 tsp. caraway seeds
  • 12 cup flour
  • 14 cup canola oil
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 8 slices Gruyère cheese
  • 4 pumpernickel rolls, halved lengthwise and toasted
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Brine the trout: Toast peppercorns, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, allspice, cloves, and star anise in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium-high until fragrant, 1–2 minutes. Add 13 cup kosher salt, sugar, chile flakes, bay leaf, cinnamon, and 2 cups water; cook until salt and sugar dissolve, 3 minutes. Cool, then add trout; refrigerate fish in brine for 1 hour. Remove fish from brine and pat dry. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Make the 10,000 Lakes Sauce: Cover chiles in boiling water; soak until soft, 10 minutes, then drain. Purée in a food processor until smooth and set aside. Mix vinegar, 1 tbsp. salt, and egg yolk in a bowl; while whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in oil until emulsified. Stir in reserved purée, the ketchup, pickles, and cayenne; refrigerate sauce until ready to use.
  3. Pickle the kohlrabi: Combine vinegar, sugar, 2 cloves garlic, ginger, lemongrass, and 14 cup water in a 2-qt. saucepan over high; boil. Pour over kohlrabi and cool; refrigerate overnight. Drain kohlrabi and toss with olive oil, 1 tbsp. lemon juice, chives, parsley, dill, radishes, bok choy, apple, salt, and pepper; set slaw aside.
  4. Make the sandwich: Heat oven to 350°. Whisk buttermilk, 3 tbsp. lemon juice, and egg in a bowl; place cornmeal and caraway seeds in another bowl and flour in a third bowl. Season trout with pepper. Working with one piece at a time, dredge trout in flour, then dip in egg mixture, coat in cornmeal, and transfer to a plate. Working in two batches, heat 2 tbsp. oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high; add half the trout, and cook 3 minutes, then flip. Add half each butter, garlic, and shallot and continue cooking, spooning butter over fish as it cooks, 2 minutes more. Transfer trout to a baking sheet and season with salt; place 2 slices Gruyère over each fillet and bake until cheese has melted, 5 minutes. Divide the kohlrabi slaw, fillets, and sauce between the rolls.