Waldorf Salad: Smoked Trout, Walnut Butter, Gala Apple, and Celery Vinaigrette

Adapted by StarChefs.com
July 2013
Yield: 4 servings

INGREDIENTS:

Trout Brine
1 quart water
½ cup Hudson New York corn whiskey
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup salt
peel from 1 lemon
5 sprigs thyme
1 fresh bay leaf
Smoked Trout
Trout brine
2 trout fillets
1 quart Hickory wood, soaked 1 hour in cold water
5 pounds ice cubes
Walnut Butter
1 quart shelled, lightly roasted walnuts
½ cup water
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
salt
Celery Vinaigrette
1 pound celery hearts, trimmed, ribs seperated
4 ounces shallots
5 cloves garlic
1 cup olive oil
1 cup blended oil
5 egg yolks
Juice of 1 lemon
10 sprigs thyme, picked
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salad
1 cup diced gala apple
1 cup celery, peeled and diced
¾ cup diced blanched fennel
½ cup thinly sliced pickled grapes
1 tablespoon finely diced shallots
1 tablespoon thinly sliced chives
½ cup Celery vinaigrette, from above
salt
To Assemble and Serve
¼ cup walnut butter
1 cup salad
4 pickled grapes, thinly sliced
1 gala apple, cut into batons
1 peeled celery stalk, cut into batons
4 Bibb lettuce hearts
2 tablespoons celery dressing
smoked trout, cut widthwise into ½-inch slices

METHOD:

For the Trout Brine:
Combine all ingredients and heat until sugar and salt dissolve. Chill in ice water bath.

For the Smoked Trout:
Submerge trout in brine and cure for up to two hours. Drain trout and pat dry. Prepare smoker with woodchips. Place trout on smoker rack set above pan of ice. Cold smoke one hour. Remove pan and hot smoke trout at 150ºF degrees for 35 to 45 minutes. Remove rack with trout and cool completely. Wrap each fillet in plastic and refrigerate.

For the Walnut Butter:
Combine walnuts and water in blender and purée. Continue to blend and emulsify oil. Pass through fine-mesh sieve, season with salt, cover, and refrigerate.

For the Celery Vinaigrette:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine celery hearts, shallot, garlic, and oils in hotel pan. Cover securely with double layer of aluminum. Cook in oven 20 minutes, remove pan, and rest 10 minutes. Strain oil and reserve. Transfer solids to blender and purée. Continue to blend, adding yolks followed by lemon juice and thyme leaves. Slowly add reserved oil to emulsify; reserve.

For the Salad:
Toss all ingredients together until coated with vinaigrette. Cover and chill in refrigerator.

To Assemble and Serve:
Divide Walnut Butter evenly among the center of 4 serving plates and drag across plate with spoon. Distribute Salad evenly over Walnut Butter. Arrange remaining components around salad.