This grilled trout stuffed with tomato confit recipe comes from Uncommon Underground, one Chicago restaurants dedicated to small-scale urban farming and sourcing locally grown ingredients from heartland farms. This recipe is taken from Locally Grown (Agate Midway Publishing, 2012) by Anna Blessing, a story of the modern heartland farm. It explores how sustainable practices—and close ties to high-profile chefs and restaurateurs—have propelled the "locally grown" culinary movement with rich stories of Midwestern farms told through beautiful photography, fascinating anecdotes from farmers and chefs, and up-close looks at what makes each farm so unique.
Grilled Trout Stuffed with Tomato Confit
• 2 pounds (908 g) cherry tomatoes
• 1 lemon
• 4 cups (948 mL) tomato juice
• 4 trout, headless (8 to 10 ounces [227 to 284 g] each)
• 1/3 cup (10 g) packed parsley leaves, chopped
• 2 sprigs tarragon, chopped
• 8 chives, minced
• Salt and pepper
• Vegetable oil
1. To prepare the tomato confit, slice the cherry tomatoes as thinly as possible, about 1/8 inch (3 mm). Place tomato slices in a baking dish big enough where you can layer the tomatoes in bottom of dish (double layer if necessary). Pour tomato juice over tomatoes and enough water until tomatoes are just submerged in liquid. Cover dish with foil and roast at 250°F (120°C) 2 hours or until tomatoes are very soft. When tomatoes are finished cooking, remove from the oven and cool in the liquid. Carefully transfer the tomatoes to a bowl using a slotted spoon.
2. To prepare the trout, squeeze 1 lemon into 1 gallon (3.80 L) of water. Dip the trout into the lemon-water to get rid of the slimy membrane on the skin. Dry well with paper towels. Place in refrigerator until ready to go on the grill.
3. Preheat the grill for direct cooking. Oil the grid.
4. Open each trout, meat side up. Sprinkle with herbs, evenly distribute the tomato confit onto the trout, and season with salt and pepper. Close the trout.
5. The grill is ready when you cannot put your hand 4 inches (10 cm) from the grid for 5 seconds. Oil the skin and carefully place the trout on the grid with the open flaps facing you. Grill until the trout skin releases from the grid, 5 to 6 minutes. Carefully turn the trout so the openings are facing up. This will ensure the tomato confit will not fall out of the trout. Grill 5 to 6 minutes on the second side. You can open the trout to make sure the trout is cooked thoroughly as the meat near the spine will take the longest. Serves 4
For more recipes from Locally Grown, check out the article Chicago Restaurant Uncommon Ground Joins the Locally Grown Movement.
Reprinted with permission from Locally Grown: Portraits of Artisanal Farms from America’s Heartland by Anna Blessing and published by Agate Midway Publishing, 2012.