With Poblano Corn Relish

Source: Adapted from BBQ USA by Steven Raichlen (Workman Publishing, 2003)
Method: Direct
Yield: Serves 4

4 whole trout (each 12 to 16 ounces)
Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
Poblano and Corn Relish (recipe follows)
8 slices bacon

You'll also need:
Divided grilling basket; 8 pieces butcher's string, each about 6 inches long; 2 cups wood chips or chunks (preferably hickory or pecan) or pecan shells, unsoaked; cooking oil spray

1. Rinse the trout, inside and out, under cold running water, then blot dry, inside and out, with paper towels. Season the cavity of each trout with salt and pepper. Spoon a little of the Poblano and Corn Relish in the cavity of each fish; save the remaining relish for serving. For each trout, place a slice of bacon on a work surface and place the trout on top. (The bacon slices will be parallel to the trout.) Secure the bacon by tying it crosswise in two places with butcher's string. Spray the grilling basket with cooking oil spray. Carefully place the 4 bacon-covered trout into the grill basket and close securely.

2. Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to medium-high. If using a gas grill, place all of the wood chips or chunks or the pecan shells in the smoker box or in a smoker pouch and run the grill on high until you see smoke, then reduce the heat to medium-high. If using a charcoal grill, preheat it to medium-high, then toss all of the wood chips or chunks or the pecan shells on the coals.

3. When ready to cook, place the grilling basket with the trout directly on the grill grate. Grill the trout until nicely browned on the outside and cooked through, 6 to 10 minutes per side. To test for doneness, insert a slender metal skewer into a trout for 20 seconds: It should come out very hot to the touch.

Poblano and Corn Relish

Yield: Makes about 1-1/2 cups

2 ears sweet corn, shucked
2 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
2 large or 3 or 4 small poblano peppers
1 bunch scallions
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, or more to taste

1. Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat to high.

2. When ready to cook, brush the corn with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season it generously with salt and black pepper. Brush and oil the grill grate. Place the poblanos, scallions, and corn on the hot grate. Grill the poblanos until blackened and blistered on all sides, the scallions until nicely browned on all sides, and the corn until darkly browned. This will take 3 to 4 minutes per side (9 to 12 minutes in all) for the poblanos, 3 to 5 minutes per side (6 to 10 minutes in all) for the scallions, and 2 to 3 minutes per side (8 to 12 minutes in all) for the corn. Wrap the grilled poblanos in wet paper towels or place them in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let cool to room temperature (the steam helps to loosen the skin from the peppers). Transfer the grilled scallions and corn to a plate and let cool.

3. Scrape the burnt skin off the poblanos, cut each in half, and remove all the seeds. Cut the poblanos into 1/2-inch dice. Cut the scallions crosswise into 1/4-inch slices, discarding the root ends. Cut the corn kernels off the cobs, using lengthwise strokes of a chef's knife.

4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and pine nuts and cook until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the grilled poblanos, scallions, and corn, and the cilantro and lime juice and cook until the flavors blend, about 4 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat, season the relish with salt and black pepper to taste, and let it cool. The relish can be prepared several days ahead and refrigerated, covered. If you do make it in advance, bring it to room temperature, then taste for seasoning before serving, adding more salt and/or lime juice as necessary.

© 2006 Steven Raichlen | site design Benjamin Wilchfort