1 side trout fillet, pin boned
12 asparagus speared, peeled.
12 orange segments
Rooibos tea leaves
2 Tblsp White wine vinegar
For the dressing:
2tsp fennel seeds toasted and ground
1tsp Dijon mustard
3tsp white wine vinegar
1 cup canola oil.
Serve with Glen Carlou Chardonnay for the perfect pairing.
*You can play around with the smoking by using different herbs like lavender, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, these all work very well. Same goes for the dressing, you can play around by making it as sweet or sour as you like.
For the asparagus:
Bring a pot of water to the boil, add a good pinch of salt to the water. Have a container with ice water ready. Once the water is boiling, add the asparagus. Blanch for 5 seconds and transfer to the ice bath. It may seem that the asparagus is still raw, but you will grill them as well. Set them aside.
Remove the skin of the trout by laying the trout flat on a hard surface, meat side up. Make a small incision at the tail end and run your knife back to the “head” of the fillet. Keep the skin. You can also ask your fishmonger to do that but ask for the skin.
To make the “popadom”:
Place the fish skin in a small saucepan with water and 2 tblsp of white wine vinegar. Once the water is boiling, lower the heat and cook until it’s just soft — about 10 minutes. Remove from the water, but be careful it will be hot. Lay the skin carefully on a flat surface and with care, scrape the leftover meaty bits off the skin. On very low heat, roast the skin in the oven. Preferably at 120 degrees. It will take about 30 minutes to crisp up. Set aside.
To smoke the trout, put the fillet on a perforated oven tray, over a tray filled with rooibos teas leaves. I find smoking with tea to have a “softer” taste. Wrap both trays with foil and put on an open flame. If you have a gas stovetop, it’s perfect. Once you see the smoke coming out of the sides, remove immediately. Take the smoked fillet out of the tray, season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven @ 180 degrees until just done; this will take about 7-10 minute. Keep warm.
For the dressing:
Slowly begin by whisking everything together except the fennel seeds.
Once you get an emulsion, add the ground fennel seeds.
To assemble the dish:
Grill 3 asparagus per portion over high heat on a griddle pan, place them in the centre of the plate.
Break 3 pieces of the warm trout off and put it on top of the asparagus. Carefully arrange 3 orange segments on top and place the popadom on top. Drizzle the dressing over and around the dish.