From the By Hook & By Cook article from July 2017.



Truchas Yerba Buena

By Frederick Muller at El Meze Restaurant (1017 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, El Prado; elmeze.com; 575-751-3337)



Two epicurean river rats I know from Embudo turned me on to this dish. Muller’s focus is on la comida de las sierras—mountain cuisine. Here, he says, he took a traditional Taos Pueblo idea and gave it a Spanish/Moorish spin with the preserved lemon and smoked paprika.

Serves 8




  • 1/2 preserved lemon 2 cups fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped 2 teaspoons minced garlic 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1/2 cup olive oil 8 trout, whole, deboned, about 8–10 ounces each Cilantro sauce and Moroccan butter (recipes follow)




  1. Cut away the flesh from the preserved lemon and finely dice the rind only. Place in a large stainless-steel bowl and add mint, garlic, red pepper, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Combine thoroughly. 2. Rinse trout under cold running water. Place one trout into the mixing bowl and coat. Place approximately 2 tablespoons of herb mixture into trout cavity. Close trout. Repeat process with all trout. 3. Fire up grill. When very hot, place trout at a 30° angle on grill. Cook for 3 minutes, then reposition (same side; don’t flip it yet) at 60° angle, which will create hatch marks and crisp up the skin. Cook for another 3 minutes and then flip and cook for 6 minutes or more. To make sure trout is done, open up the cavity; meat should be white, moist, and firm to the touch. When done, top each piece of fish with 1 tablespoon of Moroccan butter on and leave on grill for 1 more minute to slightly melt. 4. Remove from grill and drizzle cilantro sauce over the top. Serve with a watercress or arugula salad.



Cilantro Sauce

Makes 2 cups




  • 1/2 rounded teaspoon minced garlic

  • 3 large bunches cilantro, stems removed and roughly chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 cups olive oil




  1. In a food processor, add garlic, cilantro, salt red pepper flakes, and pepper.

  2. Blend until finely minced. Add olive oil. Pulse only once—you do not want to puree. Place in airtight container. Stir before using. If it becomes too thick, thin it with more olive oil.



Moroccan Butter

Fifteen-ingredient butter? Trust us, this is also great on steaks. Makes 1 pound




  • 1 pound unsalted butter, softened

  • 1/2 bunch curly parsley, stems removed

  • 1 cup mint leaves

  • 1/2 bunch cilantro, stems removed

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1 tablespoon mild Chimayó chile powder

  • 1 tablespoon smoked Spanish paprika

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 1 teaspoon coriander

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • Zest of 1/2 lemon

  • Juice of 1/2 lemon




  1. Chop parsley, mint, and cilantro until minced. Place softened butter in a bowl. Add garlic, spices, lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, mint, and cilantro. Beat with a hand mixer until well blended. Place in airtight container and refrigerate.