As summer winds down, take advantage of the remaining days with a backyard bash. Step up your food selection from typical backyard eats with this impressive late summer recipe.
Blackened Trout with Charred Corn Cream Sauce
4 boneless trout filets
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
Blackened seasoning, to taste
2 ears corn on the cob, par-boiled, drained, cooled, cut off the cob
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons sweet yellow onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped fine
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
11/2 cups charred corn stock, recipe below
¼ cup heavy cream
Start sauce by melting butter in a small pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, two to three minutes. Add garlic and cook while stirring for one minute. Add corn and stir to incorporate. Add vinegar and cook until it evaporates. Season with salt and pepper, and add corn stock. Cook to reduce by half, and add cream.
Use a hand blender to puree sauce, and add more stock and cream if too thick. Lower heat and cook through slowly. Strain sauce through a fine mesh strainer, place back in pot and keep warm over very low heat.
Preheat an iron skillet on the grill over very high direct heat, about 10 minutes. Pour about three quarters of the butter in a shallow dish. Dredge each piece of trout in butter to coat well. Season liberally with blackened seasoning and pat in with fingers.
Place in hot iron skillet and pour over a little butter. Let cook for two minutes or until spice is crusted onto fish.
Flip fish and pour on a little butter and finish cooking, about one to two minutes, depending on thickness of trout.
Ladle some sauce on individual plates and top with trout (skin side down).
Charred Corn Stock
6 corn cobs after corn has been scraped off
12 cups of water
Pinch of kosher salt
3 sprigs of fresh thyme (optional)
Parmesan rind (optional)
Char corn cobs all over on direct heat on grill. Remove and place in stockpot with water, salt, thyme, and parmesan rind if using.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.
Strain through a fine mesh strainer and use immediately, refrigerate, or freeze.
Troy Gagliardo is the executive chef of Wu’s Cajun Sea Food in Charlotte and author of “Pseudo Southern”—a playful twist on the art of Southern cooking—and is the TV host of “Troy’s Everyday Eats.” Watch Troy live from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. every Tuesday on WCCB Charlotte News Rising, and purchase his book at www.cheftroy.com. Photo by Richard Rudisill.