Grilled Pancetta-Wrapped Trout with Verjus and Crushed Grapes
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Credit: Suzanne Goin, Chef, Lucques Restaurant, San Francisco
The National Culinary Review, May 2012
3 T. unsalted butter
1½ cups thinly sliced red onion
1 t. thyme leaves
Salt and black pepper, as needed
1½ cups sliced sorrel
1/3 cup heavy cream
6 (8 oz.) trout, boneless, butterflied
6 (1/8-inch thick) pancetta slices
1 cup red seedless California grapes
3 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 T. sliced flat leaf parsley
Juice of ½ lemon
1 bunch watercress, cleaned, tough stems removed
Verjus Sauce (recipe follows)
1½ cups red seedless California grapes
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
1 cup verjus
Kosher salt, as needed
8 T. cold unsalted butter, cut in small pieces
Freshly cracked black pepper
1. Heat medium saute pan over medium heat for 1 minute. Add butter; when foams, stir in red onion. Add thyme, healthy pinch salt and pinch black pepper. Saute about 10 minutes, until onion is translucent and soft. Add sorrel; stir to combine. Turn heat to medium-high; add cream. Cook, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes as cream reduces and coats onions. Season to taste. Remove to plate; cool completely.
2. Lay trout skin-side down on cutting board; open like book. Season lightly with salt and pepper; spread sorrel onions on one side of each fish. Fold fish back together; wrap each trout with piece of pancetta, spiraling meat around fish. Refrigerate until 15 minutes before cooking.
3. With mortar and pestle, pound grapes until partially crushed. Transfer to bowl; stir in 2 T. olive oil, parsley, healthy pinch salt and pinch black pepper.
4. When coals broken down, red and glowing, brush trout with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill about 3 minutes on each side, rotating ¼ turn after a couple of minutes to crisp skin.
5. Scatter watercress on large platter; place trout on top. Spoon warm verjus over fish; top with crushed grapes.
Method: Put grapes, shallot and verjus in small saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/8 t. salt; simmer until liquid reduced by 3/4. Cool mixture to lukewarm. Transfer to blender. With motor running, add butter, a little at a time, blending just until incorporated. Season, to taste; add a little lemon juice and salt, if needed. Return sauce to pan. Cover; reserve in warm place. Reheat just before serving.
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