Cancato (Grilled Sausage and Fish)
This delicious traditional Chilean dish sandwiches sausage, tomatoes, cheese, and seasonings inside fish fillets. The fillets are sewn together with big stitches so that the stuffing is held inside as they cook in a hinged wire fish grill or basket over a charcoal or wood fire. They are basted with a marinated using a brush made of parsley sprigs, and served on fresh lettuce leaves. All they need is crusty bread!
- Whole salmon fillets - 2 (alt. 1 large salmon; clean, gut, and fillet before use)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Hawaiian or regular salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Fresh pork sausage - 1/2 pound, cut into thin discs
- Fresh Tomatoes - 1 pound, skinned, thinly sliced
- Garlic head - 1, separated into cloves and slightly flattened
- Fresh minced oregano - 1 tablespoon
- Unsalted Butter - 1/4 pound, softened
- Monterey Jack or other soft cheese - 1 pound, cut into very thin slices
- White Wine - 2 cups
- Fish stock or clam juice - 1 cup
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Garlic Clove - 1, minced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Parsley Sprigs - 4 or 5 large, tied together
- Bibb or iceberg lettuce, - 1 head, separated into individual leaves
Light a charcoal grill. Brush a hinged wire grill that supports the fillets on both sides lightly with cooking oil. Season the fillets with lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Put one fillet in one side of the grill, flesh-side up. Cover with sausage discs, then tomato slices. Sprinkle with garlic cloves and oregano. Dot with butter and pieces of cheese. Place the second fillet over the filling, flesh-side down. Using a large larding needle, loosely sew the edges together with white string to hold the fish fillets around the stuffing. Close the grill basket.
Whisk the wine, stock, lemon juice, garlic, and seasonings together to form a basting mixture. Tie the parsley sprigs into a small brush. Grill the fish slowly, turning from time to time, while using the parsley brush to baste with the basting mixture. Grill for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the fish is opaque, the sausage is cooked, and the cheese is melted. Watch the cheese; when it melts and begins to run, the heat has reached the center of the package.
To serve: Line the serving platter with lettuce leaves. Open the grill basket and remove the salmon skin from the top of the package. Unlace the edges. Slice into individual serving pieces and serve them on the bed of lettuce.