Archive | Late Fall-Holidays 2014

Spruce-Cured Smoked Trout

bharrewyn_7fishes_300dpi-23By Chef Charlie Menard

This recipe really represents Vermont’s outdoor lifestyle to me. I love how rustic and homey smoked trout is, especially when it comes from my friends who fish. This is a quintessential mountain recipe—making use of our rivers and forests, frugal, satisfying and elegant.

Recipe tip: To take advantage of our upland forests as much as possible, I like to cure the trout with spruce tips and maple syrup. The resinous, lemony notes of the spruce work beautifully with the maple and together they are so characteristic of our great state.

Serves 4 to 8 as an appetizer

Fresh whole trout, about 10 ounces cleaned and butterflied
½ cup spruce tips, or ¼ cup young needles, finely chopped
Zest from 1 lemon
1 tablespoon maple syrup
½ teaspoon dark rum
½–¾ cup kosher or other pure salt
A dozen or so sprigs of thyme
Crème fraîche
Pickled red onions (or pickled fiddleheads or pickled ramps)

Make sure your trout is as clean and fresh as you can get. Wash your fish thoroughly and dry with paper towels inside and out. Keep the head on for the best presentation.

On a clean surface, open the trout and coat the inside with the spruce and zest. Drizzle the maple syrup and rum evenly.

Generously salt the interior of the fish, thoroughly covering the flesh. You should use about a ¼ cup of the salt, but don’t be afraid to use more if you need it. When it’s evenly layered, pat the salt on to keep it in place and close the fish. Salt both sides of the exterior as well.

Place the fish in a closed container and let it sit in the fridge for an hour, or a little more if your fish is especially meaty. The flesh should be noticeably firmer to your finger.

Thoroughly rinse the salt from the inside and outside of the fish and pat it dry with paper towels. Open the fish again and lay it on a wire rack with the flesh side out. Let it dry in a cool, protected place (your fridge is fine) for 2–3 hours. You want to develop a nice tacky pellicle (the skin that comes from air-drying) for the best smoky flavor. This is especially important if your smoker runs hot and the fish won’t be in as long.

Prepare your fish for smoking. Lay the trout on its side on a wire rack. Place the thyme sprigs in the cavity and use 2 toothpicks along the belly to prop the fish open about 1 inch.

Smoke your fish at 200° to 225° over alder, oak or fruitwood. You want the fish to cook through, which could take from 90 minutes to a few hours. You should aim to bring the fish to an internal temperature of 160° for 30 minutes, which will be easier after the fish has dried some already. You can also control the level of smoke by taking the fish out of the smoker and finishing the cooking process in a 200° oven.

Serve chilled or at room temperature. Present the trout whole on a plate or presentation cutting board. Run the tip of a sharp knife through the skin along the gill line and down the spine to release the skin. Then you should be able to peel the skin back easily from the head toward the tail. Offer crème fraîche and pickled red onions. Smoked trout will keep 10–14 days in your refrigerator or 2 to 3 months in the freezer.


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Warm-Smoked Vermont Trout With Heirloom Vegetables & Boiled Cider Brown Butter



By Chef Jean-Luc Matecat

I chose this particular recipe because it not only demonstrates the straightforward, technique-driven cooking style I love, but it also showcases some of the wonderful foods that we are surrounded by here in the Green Mountain State.

Recipe tip: Use any fresh vegetables you choose for this dish to make it your own. If you can’t find boiled cider, make your own by reducing apple cider to a syrup in a small pot, or just replace altogether with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Serves 2-4

2 filets Vermont trout
1 cup fruitwood chips
6 tablespoons highest-quality butter
2 tablespoons Woods boiled cider
4 baby squash or zucchini
8 baby carrots
4 small onions
4 baby leeks
8 purple fingerling potatoes
Salt and pepper to taste

Filet your trout, and set aside your 4 neatly trimmed sides. Season generously with salt.

Set up a simple warm smoker using your barbecue or a large metal roasting pan. I like to do this by placing a few twigs and wood chips in 1 corner of my small charcoal grill. I light the small pile, and place a few more wood chips on top when it’s burning steadily.

Place your trout filets on the rack of the grill opposite your small fire, and place the lid on the grill. You will need to continue to tend your small fire, periodically making sure it remains smoldering and adding a few more chips when necessary. It should be smoking steadily, and the small amount of heat should slowly bake the trout while it takes on the smoke flavor. Remove after 20 minutes or so, when the trout has picked up a yellowish tinge and smells strongly of smoke.

Clean your vegetables, and cut them into large bite-size pieces. Place a heavy-bottom skillet on medium heat and add your butter. As the butter melts and starts to sizzle, you can add your vegetables. Paying careful attention that your butter does not burn, continue to turn your vegetables so they cook evenly. If the butter starts to get too brown remove from the heat, and reduce to medium-low, before continuing to cook. The butter should turn brown and smell nutty as the vegetables cook, but not turn black.

When your vegetables are almost cooked, season with salt and pepper, and add the trout filets to the pan for about 1 minute on each side. This will ensure that the fish is fully cooked.
Next carefully remove your fish, and vegetables from the skillet, and arrange on a serving platter.

Add the boiled cider to the butter left in the pan, and stir the pan to free the solids on the bottom. Pour the pan sauce over your fish, and enjoy!

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Salmon Strudel


By Chef Mark French

I created this plate for a competition. It won a gold medal and now is one of our most popular menu items.
Recipe tip: Use locally grown spinach. Before serving, cut off the ends so that the dish is not overwhelmed with too much filo.

Serves 4

1 pound box of filo
½ pound unsalted butter, melted
4 cups locally farm-grown spinach
4 (6-ounce) long-cut salmon filets
Salt and pepper

For the Lemon Butter
½ cup lemon juice
½ pound unsalted butter
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375˚.

Season salmon filets with salt and pepper.

Lay out a sheet of filo and brush with butter, then repeat twice more for 3 layers.

Fold it in half longwise and brush with butter. Towards the bottom end, add ¼ cup of fresh spinach, spread flat and top with a seasoned salmon filet. Top with another ¼ cup of spinach, spread flat, then fold edges in toward salmon and brush folded edges with butter. Carefully roll the salmon firmly into a strudel. Brush the outside with butter and then bake for 20–25 minutes.

In a heavy saucepot bring lemon juice to a boil, lower heat (do not boil butter) and add butter in small cubes, constantly whipping the lemon juice as the butter melts. Season with salt and keep warm until needed.
When ready, gently cut off the bread-only ends and then cut the strudel in half at an angle and serve with mashed potato and seasonal sautéed vegetables. Liberally add lemon butter around the plate.

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Mafalde con Baccala

DeliaBy Chef Tom Delia

This recipe invokes childhood memories of my nonna’s kitchen. I have been serving and eating this with family and friends as part of our Christmas Eve celebration for as long as I can remember.
Recipe tip: Use your own house-made tomato sauce, made the day before with a glass of wine in your hand.

Serves 4 to 6

1½ pounds salt cod filets
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, slivered
2 tablespoons white wine
1 pinch red pepper flakes
2 heaping tablespoons golden raisins, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes to soften, drained and squeezed dry
1½ cups pomodoro tomato (or your favorite sauce from your garden)
Breadcrumbs toasted in extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound Mafalde pasta, cooked al dente

Rinse the salt cod well in cold running water, then place it in a large bowl with cold water to cover and refrigerate for 24 hours, changing the water 3 or 4 times.

Drain the salt cod and pat dry. Cut each filet lengthwise down the middle. Then cut crosswise at intervals of 2½ to 3 inches, removing any bones or skin.

In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté until golden.

Add the cod and cook, turning as needed, until browned on both sides, about 8 minutes total.

Add the crushed red pepper, raisins and tomato sauce to the pan, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the fish is tender, about 20 minutes. (The dish can be prepared up to this point, cooled, covered and refrigerated, and then reheated gently the next day.)

Serve over pasta and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.

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Grilled Sardines with Fennel, Arugula and Blood Oranges

K.ClearyBy Chef Kevin Cleary

This is a great holiday dish that is a good reminder that summer is only about 6 months away in Vermont!!
Recipe tip: For a Vermont twist you can substitute local smelt for the sardines and either grill them or fry them.

Serves 4

8–16 fresh sardines (8 if large, 16 if small), heads and tails removed, gutted
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 bulbs fennel
2 cups baby arugula
4 blood oranges, peeled and segmented (can substitute navel oranges or clementines)

Remove the spines from the sardines. With the skin side down, flatten the sardine as best you can without tearing up the meat too much. Grab the spine where the head would have been and gently pull the spine away from the sardine. The bones should come right out with the spine. There will be some tiny bones left but will not be an issue.

Next, marinate the sardines. Mix together the garlic, thyme, pepper flakes with half the oil. Add the sardines and toss to coat. Let marinate about 30–45 minutes.

To prepare the salad, thinly slice the fennel on a mandolin (or with a sharp knife if you do not have a mandolin). Toss the fennel with the arugula, orange segments and the rest of the oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Evenly distribute salad on 4 plates in the back center of the plate.

Preheat grill to medium-high.

Place the sardines, skin side down, on the grill. After 1 minute turn the sardines over and cook an additional 45–60 seconds (larger sardines will take a bit longer).

Remove from grill and place in front of the salad on the plates—2 per plate if they are big and 4 if they are small.

Serve immediately with crisp, dry white wine.

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Parmesan-Crusted Halibut with  Fire-Roasted Peppers, Arugula and Garlic Chips


By Chef Michel Baumann

Halibut is the most amazing fish on the East Coast and a personal favorite. The dish is also very popular here in the restaurant.
Recipe tip: Use the freshest ingredients. Do not overcook this delicate fish.

Serves 4

4 (5-ounce) halibut filets
Juice of 1 lemon
3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper
½ cup flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup panko crumbs
1 cup fresh-grated Parmesan cheese with extra for finish
¼ cup olive oil (plus additional)
3 ounces of butter
2 red peppers
5 garlic cloves
Splash of balsamic vinegar
1 large bunch of arugula (cleaned)
Lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°.

Season halibut filets with salt and pepper. Mix Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice and marinate filets for 4 minutes.

Dredge filets in flour, shake off excess. Dip in egg wash, then in panko and Parmesan and lightly press crust onto fish.

Pan fry filets in ¼ cup of olive oil and 3 ounces of butter, over medium heat in nonstick pan until golden brown and crisp. Flip over and cook for 30 seconds, then set filets on baking sheet and bake for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on thickness.

Roast 2 red peppers on an open flame until charred, let rest for 3 minutes, peel off charred skin and then thinly slice the peppers.

Garlic Chips: Thinly slice 5 garlic cloves, and then cook gently in olive oil over medium heat until caramelized. Drain on a paper towel and lightly season with salt and pepper.

Lightly dress the red peppers with the oil from the garlic chips and a splash of balsamic vinegar.

Place the cooked halibut in the center of the plate, top with the roasted pepper salad, then top with arugula tossed with lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper, then sprinkle the garlic chips over the whole plate and finish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Bon appétit!

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Vermont’s Favorite Fish


By Chef Colin Arthur

Cooking with trout reminds me of fly-fishing with my dad. This recipe is a variation on a classic my dad would create after a day out on a Vermont river or for some other special occasion.

Recipe tip: A filet of trout cooks very quickly. It is important to not overcook the delicate filet.

Serves 1

1 filet of local rainbow, brook or brown trout
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Garlic, shallots, chopped
8 ounces blanched green beans
½ cup sautéed Hen of the Woods mushrooms
6 blanched fingerling potatoes
½ cup white wine
6 tablespoons Vermont butter
½ lemon
¼ cup finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
Thyme, chopped, to taste
2 tablespoons canola oil

Drizzle the filet of fish with olive oil and season with salt, pepper. Set aside filet to come to room temperature.

In a medium saucepan, sweat out the garlic and shallots. Add the green beans and previously sautéed Hen of the Woods mushrooms.

Add fingerling potatoes previously blanched in salted water for approximately 20–30 minutes and, once cooled, sliced into small medallions. Sauté blanched potatoes along with the green beans and mushrooms. Cook over high heat for 4–5 minutes.

Deglaze with white wine. Add fresh, chopped thyme. Remove from heat when wine has evaporated and green beans are cooked through.

Meanwhile, in separate medium saucepan heat canola oil until it begins to gently smoke. Add filet of trout, skin side down, into hot pan. Allow skin to crisp and release fully from sauté pan (about 3–4 minutes.) Reduce the heat to medium and flip the filet of trout to finish cooking on the flesh side for 1–2 minutes.

Remove cooked trout and set aside. Drain canola oil from the pan and add butter. Over medium to low heat allow butter to brown. Once the butter is fully brown turn the heat to low and add the lemon juice, Italian parsley, slivered almonds, salt and pepper.

To assemble: Lay down the cooked trout filet (flesh side up.) Spoon mixture of mushrooms and green beans over the fish filet. Finish the dish by spooning over your brown butter, lemon, almond sauce. Garnish with freshly chopped thyme.

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Roasted Rutabaga and  Artisan Handcrafted Sausage Stuffing

Photo by Carol Sullivan

Photo by Carol Sullivan

Serves 12 to 16

Roasted Vegetables
1 (2 ½-pound) rutabaga, ends trimmed, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound red beets, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large carrot, cut diagonally into ½-inch pieces
1 small onion, cut into ⅓-inch wedges
5 garlic cloves, peeled
Either ½ tablespoon fresh minced rosemary (optional) or ½ tablespoon fresh minced sage or thyme (optional)
Kosher salt and pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Vermont honey, or to taste

1- to 1½-pound loaf artisan bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound artisan handcrafted sausage, such as red wine and garlic pork sausage from Artisan Meats of VT, casings removed
3 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 (4-ounce) log chevre cheese
Zest of ½ lemon
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock, or as needed

Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a baking sheet and set aside.

Place the rutabaga, beets, carrot, onion, garlic, rosemary, sage (if using) and thyme (if using) in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and honey and toss to combine, making sure to coat all the vegetables well.

Spread the vegetable mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Roast, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just fork-tender, about 45 minutes. Set aside.

Transfer the bread cubes to a baking sheet and toast in the oven, tossing occasionally, until crisp and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

While the bread cubes are toasting, cook the sausage. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, crumbling with a fork, until just browned and slightly pink in the center, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

Lightly butter a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Place the bread cubes in a large bowl. Mash the garlic with the back of a fork or spoon. Add the vegetable mixture, including the mashed garlic, to the bread stuffing. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sausage to the bread stuffing. Stir in the eggs, chevre, lemon zest and parsley. Gently mix all the ingredients together; do not overmix. Season with salt pepper to taste. Pour the stuffing into the prepared baking dish. Pour the stock over the surface of the stuffing. If the mixture seems too dry, add more stock until the desired consistency is achieved.

Lightly coat the dull side of a sheet of foil with nonstick cooking spray and cover the baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Uncover the stuffing and continue to bake until the top is crisp and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let stuffing rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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Grist for the Mill


Photo by Carol Sullivan

Photo by Carol Sullivan

As the temperatures drop, our palates migrate toward seasonal dishes like roasts, stews and hot apple cider, just to name a few. I focus on what I have put up for the winter and work to incorporate it with my CSA pickup. We have a trade table at my CSA, where you can exchange a product you may not like for something you would prefer. I must confess I always trade the rutabaga, but after reading “The Farmhouse Kitchen: A Guide to Eating Local,”by Tracey Medeiros, I may start keeping that humble root. Tracey reminds us that rutabagas can be baked, roasted, braised, steamed, stir-fried, microwaved and boiled.

Although we are a landlocked state, we have an appetite for seafood. In this issue we explore the dock-to-mountain direct connections that are made with Northeast fishermen by a southern Vermont fish market that has been working hard since 1986 to bring the freshest sustainable seafood to our favorite restaurants and tables. In celebration of the season we have invited seven chefs to our table to share with us what seafood or fish dish they would bring to our Feast of Seven Fishes, along with Green Mountain–style kitchen tips.

Vera Chang hits the road to visit with five farmers who are intent on sharing their knowledge with the next generation of future farmers to continue this farm-to-table movement. The future of farming can flourish when youthful idealism blends with experienced wisdom.

Looking for that perfect gift this holiday season? Edible Green Mountains has partnered with the New England Dairy Board to help increase access to fresh milk through our area Food Banks. We will donate $10 of every subscription purchased through December 1 to the “Must be the Milk” milk drive. To learn about this important campaign please visit MustBeTheMilk/

Our sense of community is celebrated by sharing our daily lives with each other. We like to seek out little things like joining a kids’ cooking class, trying a new recipe, getting tips on how to cook a fresh fish, setting the table for a gathering of friends and family. These expand our horizons without needing to really leave our “backyard.” Your local farmer is here to feed you and provide delicious food, and this year I just might trade for an extra rutabaga.

Warm regards,


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Our Contributors Late Fall 2014



Marian Burros wrote about food for the New York Times for 27 years. She lives in Maryland but spends most of the summer in the Northeast Kingdom. The author of 11 cookbooks, in season she does most of her shopping at farm stands and farmers’ markets.




After 27 years as a boarding school teacher and dean, Maria Buteux Reade took up the tractor as a working partner at Someday Farm in East Dorset. She writes in an old sugarhouse, which she shares with a few cows, some wandering geese and bales of sweet hay. Maria has a home along the Battenkill River in Arlington.


Vera Chang is PR and marketing director for Shelburne Farms. Vera’s writing has appeared in Bitch magazine, Civil Eats and Triple Pundit. Her photographs have been published in TIME, Edible Manhattan and NPR. Twitter: @veralchang.

Kathryn deBros is a writer, teacher and maker of things. She lives in Bennington, Vermont, with her husband and beasts. She writes at


Pamela Hunt is a writer and editor who lives in South Burlington with her husband and two dogs.

Freelance food writer, food stylist, recipe developer and tester Tracey Medeiros is the author of The Vermont Farm Table Cookbook (The Countryman Press, 2013) and Dishing Up Vermont (Storey Publishing, 2008). The Countryman Press will publish her third book, The Connecticut Farm Table Cookbook, in 2015. She can be reached at

Katie Powers lives in Waterville, Vermont, where she and her partner run a small diversified farm. She is grateful to her mother, who has always insisted that her children eat their vegetables. Katie is a graduate student of creative writing, and her work can be found at


Laura Sorkin is an organic farmer, classically trained cook and food writer. She lives in northwest Vermont with her husband and two children. She can be reached at




Carol Sullivan is a freelance photographer who lives in northern Vermont. She has a passion for local food, both photographing it and eating it. See more of her work at

Frederica Templeton is a writer, editor and communications consultant who has tested the world’s cuisines and never found them wanting. She is editorial director of Mansfield/Templeton & Associates in Manchester, Vermont, and can be reached at

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