Giving you a family secret here - my Mom's trout brining recipe. She called it "Indian Candy", or at least that's what the final result was called.
I have several brining recipes, but this is my favorite, still. Oh yeah, My Mom de Chef said "Dried herbs don't get enough respect." This recipe will make enough brine to do about 15-20 trout cut into chunks.
I've also included two photographs featuring smoked trout. I'd like to know which one you prefer. The bottled product in the first one is from a potential sponsor of the Northern Orchestra, the symphony I conduct. The pictures are going to be in my cookbook, which will be a fundraising tool for the orchestra. You can check us out at: Northern Orchestra
The following recipe is a direct quote from my book:
A Sweet Fish Brine
1 cup coarse salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp ground cardemom
1 tsp ground cumin seed
1 tsp ground bay leaves
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 1/2 quarts cold water
Mix all ingredients in an earthenware or glass container until the salt has dissolved. Soak fish in solution for 6 hours at least, or overnight. Drain and wipe dry. Leave fish for an hour or so until a glaze forms on the surface (This was one of Mom's secrets!)
Arrange on racks in the smoker, and smoke for 6 to 10 hours, depending on the size of the fish, quantity, and how they are cut.
This will take from 3 to 5 pans of your selected wood chips in the typical aluminum electric smoker, an ubiquitous device in this country! Oh yes, I do reuse the brine, - but immediately and only once!!
As a note, the photos are "in situ", and don't zoom in on the smoked trout itself. I know this - there are over 50 photos in the book, and each one is a different style.
I wanted this photo to show the whole display. Others 'zoom in!' Smoked trout is not attractive when seen close up! :-)