Gin Cured Ocean Trout with Buckwheat Blinis

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By Darren Purchese

A bit of work, but so worth it, these little bites of joy really will kick off the party season. The Gin & juniper just scream PARTY and pair really well with the fish. You can really extend yourself by making the blinis as well or if you are short of time you could serve the sliced fish with your own biscuit, cracker or side. We would love to see a pic of anyone making these and promise to post on our gallery if you do. Enjoy with a glass of bubbles.

Make this Christmas eve after midday for a perfect lightly cured trout for Christmas day nibbles. The blinis can be made up to a week in advance and frozen. Simply defrost and wrap in aluminium foil to heat in a warm oven and serve.

Fresh fish at Christmas can be in short supply, make sure you are not disappointed by visiting your fishmonger a few weeks out from Christmas to make a preorder of all of your requirements. If you leave it to the last minute the chances of you getting what you want are diminished and you could easily end up paying more than a preorder.

Photography by Ari Hatzis.

Time

25

hour

0

minutes

Degree of Difficulty

Medium

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Portions

8
servings

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GIN CURED OCEAN TROUT

1 whole side of ocean trout, skin on 1kg – 1.2kg
150g salt flakes
150g white sugar
1tbsp juniper berries, crushed
150 ml Gin
1 whole lime, finely grated zest
4tbsp chopped dill

BUCKWHEAT BLINIS

220g eggs, (approx. 4 large eggs)
100g buckwheat flour
50g plain flour
7g salt
7g dried yeast
125 ml milk, warmed (no higher than 27C)
95g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
50g unsalted butter, softened
1

To cure the fish… mix the salt, sugar and juniper in a bowl and add the Gin, mix again and set aside. Lay cling film onto a workbench 50% longer than the length of the fish. Use two lengths overlapped to make sure it is strong and wide enough. Spoon half of the curing mixture onto the cling film and spread it out with a spoon to flatten to approx. size of the fish. Place the side of trout, skin side down onto the curing mixture and spoon the remaining curing mixture onto the flesh side of the trout. Enclose the cling film around the fish ensuring the curing mixture is covering the entire fish. Wrap more cling film tightly around the trout and place in the fridge skin side down. Weigh the fish down with something heavy to keep flat. Cure overnight.

* Use any kind of Gin you want, of course the better quality you can afford will mean a better outcome. There are some amazing gin producers worldwide now, have a look to see if someone is distilling close to you for a really unique local flavour. I’ve used Four Pillars Navy Strength Gin for this recipe. Don’t rule out using flavoured Gins in this recipe too for something really special.

 

2

To prepare the trout… remove from the fridge and unwrap, scrape off and discard the curing mixture. Brush the fish clean with kitchen paper and mix the chopped dill with the finely grated lime zest, press this to the surface of the fish. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

3

To make the blinis… separate the eggs putting the whites into a bowl of an electric stand mixer. Add the yeast into the warmed milk and leave to sit for 20 minutes before whisking in the yolks (to the milk). Whisk the egg whites to peaks in the mixing machine, add a pinch of the salt when foaming. Sieve the flours into a bowl and add the remaining salt, mix well and stir in the liquid mixture followed by the melted butter, mix to a smooth paste. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the batter using a large metal spoon or a silicone spatula. One all of the egg white lumps have been removed and you have a loose batter the blinis are ready to cook.

 

4

To cook the blinis… wipe the base of a non-stick frying pan with the butter and place the pan over a medium heat. Place spoonfuls of the batter into the pan and cook them for a couple of minutes until bubbles appear on the surface. Turn them over using a small palette knife or slice and finish the cooking for 30 seconds to a minute.

 

5

To assemble the canapés… Thinly slice and serve the trout on the blinis with pickled cucumber slices and horseradish crème fraiche.

 

1
0 hours 0 minutes

To cure the fish… mix the salt, sugar and juniper in a bowl and add the Gin, mix again and set aside. Lay cling film onto a workbench 50% longer than the length of the fish. Use two lengths overlapped to make sure it is strong and wide enough. Spoon half of the curing mixture onto the cling film and spread it out with a spoon to flatten to approx. size of the fish. Place the side of trout, skin side down onto the curing mixture and spoon the remaining curing mixture onto the flesh side of the trout. Enclose the cling film around the fish ensuring the curing mixture is covering the entire fish. Wrap more cling film tightly around the trout and place in the fridge skin side down. Weigh the fish down with something heavy to keep flat. Cure overnight.

* Use any kind of Gin you want, of course the better quality you can afford will mean a better outcome. There are some amazing gin producers worldwide now, have a look to see if someone is distilling close to you for a really unique local flavour. I’ve used Four Pillars Navy Strength Gin for this recipe. Don’t rule out using flavoured Gins in this recipe too for something really special.

2
0 hours 0 minutes

To prepare the trout… remove from the fridge and unwrap, scrape off and discard the curing mixture. Brush the fish clean with kitchen paper and mix the chopped dill with the finely grated lime zest, press this to the surface of the fish. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

3
0 hours 0 minutes

To make the blinis… separate the eggs putting the whites into a bowl of an electric stand mixer. Add the yeast into the warmed milk and leave to sit for 20 minutes before whisking in the yolks (to the milk). Whisk the egg whites to peaks in the mixing machine, add a pinch of the salt when foaming. Sieve the flours into a bowl and add the remaining salt, mix well and stir in the liquid mixture followed by the melted butter, mix to a smooth paste. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the batter using a large metal spoon or a silicone spatula. One all of the egg white lumps have been removed and you have a loose batter the blinis are ready to cook.

4
0 hours 0 minutes

To cook the blinis… wipe the base of a non-stick frying pan with the butter and place the pan over a medium heat. Place spoonfuls of the batter into the pan and cook them for a couple of minutes until bubbles appear on the surface. Turn them over using a small palette knife or slice and finish the cooking for 30 seconds to a minute.

5
0 hours 0 minutes

To assemble the canapés… Thinly slice and serve the trout on the blinis with pickled cucumber slices and horseradish crème fraiche.

Recipe Tags batter, gin, trout