Archive | Recipes

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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Simple Philly-Style Vanilla Ice Cream


For a really hot day, when you’re looking for something to cool you off that isn’t too heavy, Philly-style ice cream is great. It pairs really well with fresh summer fruits and makes a great milkshake!

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (adjust to taste)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl; stir to insure that the sugar is beginning to dissolve. Place the bowl in the fridge for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day to make sure the sugars are dissolved fully. This process is called aging and allows the ingredients to blend.

Place the ice cream mix in your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s directions. If you are using a frozen bowl attachment, make sure that the bowl has been frozen for at least 24 hours. If it is really warm in your kitchen, try to insulate the bowl with a cool, damp towel and a dry towel around that. The colder the bowl, and the faster the ice cream freezes, the better the texture of the ice cream.

Strawberry-Basil Compote

  • 1 pound fresh strawberries
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4–6 sprigs fresh basil, finely chopped

Clean and slice strawberries. Combine in a mixing bowl with sugar, lemon juice and basil. Let stand for at least 30 minutes at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator. Top fresh ice cream with compote and enjoy!

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Sirloin–Eggplant–Onion Kabobs


Few meals are easier than kabobs. I paired up some Boyden sirloin with late-summer eggplant and onions since cooking times are fairly similar. To give it some kick, I made a parsley pesto, inspired by the Argentinian chimichurri sauce that often accompanies steak in South America. Use some of the sauce as a marinade for the kabobs, letting them sit for an hour before grilling, and then serve the rest on the side. Serve with rice, farro or couscous.

  • Sirloin, cubed (estimate ⅓–½ pound per person)
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into large cubes
  • 1 red onion, quartered

Parsley sauce:

  • 1 cup Italian parsley, rinsed, stems removed
  • 4 tablespoons fresh oregano
  • 4 tablespoons chives
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 2 teaspoons capers

Alternate the beef, eggplant and onions on a skewer. Season with salt and pepper.

Place ingredients for parsley sauce in a food processor or blender and purée. Marinate the kabobs with the sauce for an hour before grilling, then serve the rest on the side. Estimated cooking time for kabobs is about 5 minutes a side on medium-high.

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