A simple and delicious way to enjoy this good-eating panfish over open fire.

Ingredients (2 servings):
10 crappie fillets (from 5 "eater" crappies)
1 pound deli bacon
1 red onion
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
8 ounces cherry tomatoes
Brown sugar
Freshly cracked black pepper


Cut crappie fillets in half length-wise a quarter to a half inch from the spine. Even the shorter side with the ribs cut out will have a thin, long piece of fillet.

Cut all bacon strips in half. Dust bacon with brown sugar.

Prior to rolling the crappie in bacon, make sure the fillets are completely dry. I like to pat them with a paper towel and then leave them uncovered in fridge for an hour. Wet fish causes bacon to get somewhat gooey and makes it more difficult to wrap firmly.

Chop vegetables (except cherry tomatoes) into approximately 1-inch-square pieces.

Wrap crappie in bacon by rolling fillet as if it were a towel, then take a half strip of bacon and tightly wrap it around the crappie. Immediately place on skewer.

Assemble, alternating vegetables and bacon-wrapped crappie, until all fish is used. I have found that placing vegetable pieces on either side of bacon-wrapped crappie helps keep the fish secure and from rotating easily. My order went: 2 to 3 onion pieces, bacon-wrapped crappie, green bell pepper piece, cherry tomato, red bell pepper piece, repeat.

Dust all kebabs with freshly cracked black pepper. Make sure all bacon-wrapped crappie pieces are oriented the same, meaning you can flip once and cook the other side of the bacon without having to worry about individually rotating the pieces.

Heat grill to 400 degrees.

Place kebabs on grill and rotate once underside of bacon is brown. Kebabs are done when vegetables are slightly charred and bacon is brown and cooked on both sides.


Trout can come in many styles, and one of our favorites is smoked trout. It is so easy to simply season, and then put on the smoker for a tender, smoky, and juicy smoked trout dinner.

There are many species of trout and this delicate fish can be prepared in many different styles. When you want an easy and elegant way to serve trout, try smoking the fish for a touch of sweet smoke flavor.

If doing filets the best way to prepare the trout is to:

Descale - Using a large chef knife, hold the filet down with scales facing up. Scrape from the tail side toward the head to scrape off any excess scales. Often this has been done by the fish monger.

- Remove the pin bones with culinary tweezers as seen in our smoked salmon recipe. You don't have to, but makes for better eating texture.

Then, using a paper towel, pat dry the trout to remove excess scales or pin bones that stick to the meat.

Trout does not need a brine. If you do want to brine, consider a simple brine of water, kosher salt, and brown sugar. Dissolve the salt and sugar in a dish over a low heat. Let that cool and then place the trout into the brining liquid.

The brine will add some moisture to the fish while cooking and a touch of flavor, but we love smoked trout without a brine.


How to Smoke Trout
Trout will smoke quickly. All it needs is a touch of seasoning.

Prepare the smoker for a low heat cook, targeting 225 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fruit wood is best for the sweeter flavor it imparts. Cherry or Apple are great. Nut woods are also a good option.

Season with olive oil and your favorite seafood seasoning.

Place on the smoker for 30 minutes and then begin checking the temperature, especially for smaller filets.

Remove the trout when an instant read thermometer like the Thermoworks Thermapen MK4 reads 140 degrees F.


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