Fire and Smoke: Trout with Leeks and Mushrooms in Angelica Leaves

These barbecue recipes will have your mouth watering before you even fire up the grill.

| August/September 2002

Trout with Leeks and Mushrooms in Angelica Leaves 

Angelica, lovage, grape, burdock, and green maple leaves make great cooking pouches for sealing in steam and juices of grilling foods. When these fresh leaves are not available, beet tops, spinach, chard, romaine lettuce leaves, or even parchment paper can stand in.

• 4 large angelica leaves
• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 cup chopped leeks
• 1 cup sliced mushrooms
• 3 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
• 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 4 fresh fillets of trout, cleaned
• 3 tablespoons butter, melted
• 8 to 10 long chive leaves (or toothpicks)

1. Trim away the thick stem and 1 inch of the center rib from the angelica leaves; soak the leaves in a tub of water for at least 1 hour.
2. If fresh angelica leaves are not available, use one of the substitutions listed above, or use four 20-inch sheets of parchment paper.
3. Fold each sheet in half and trim into a large half-heart shape.
4. In a large sauce-pan, heat the olive oil and cook the leeks and mushrooms until very soft, about 15 minutes.
5. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice, tarragon, oregano, mustard, and salt.
6. Remove the leaves from the water and pat them dry; brush each leaf with melted butter.
7. Place a trout fillet on each buttered leaf.
8. Divide the leek mixture into 4 portions and spread it over each trout fillet.
9. Fold the sides of the leaf over the trout and roll it up so that the leaf forms a pouch; tie it with chive leaves or secure with wooden toothpicks. (If using parchment paper hearts, place the fish on one side of the heart and spread 1/4 of the leek mixture over the fillet; fold the other half of the heart over the fish and roll up the cut edges to seal.)
10. Place the pouches over heated coals and cook the trout pockets for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, turning only once. Serve immediately.

11. Mix vegetables, fish, poultry, and various other meats with herbs and the heat of the barbecue for tasty side dishes and main meals.

SMOKING AND PLANK GRILLINGUse woody herbs, along with hard or fruit woods (never resinous Eastern cedar or pine), for an aromatic smoke that cooks and imbues the food with fragrant tones of flavor ranging from sweet to citrusy to woodsy.

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