Ari Weinzweig is co-owner of Zingerman's of Ann Arbor, MI. Along with his partner Paul Saginaw, Ari started Zingerman’s Delicatessen in 1982 with a $20,000 bank loan, a staff of two, a small selection of great-tasting specialty foods and a relatively short sandwich menu. 

Today, Zingerman’s is an Ann Arbor institution—the source of great food and great experiences for over 500,000 visitors every year.  Each day the Deli serves up thousands of made-to-order sandwiches with ingredients like corned beef and pastrami, homemade chopped liver and chicken salad.  The Deli stocks an array of farmhouse cheeses, smoked fish, salamis, estate-bottled olive oils, vintage vinegars, whole bean coffees, loose leaf teas and much more.

Ari was kind enough to share a story with us:

Dick Pobst’s Pan Fried Trout

Dick Pobst and his wife Nancy are two of my all-time favorite Zingerman’s customers.  Dick is a long time fishing fanatic, who’s been at it professionally and personally for decades.  In fact, he's written and taught extensively on the subject.  He likes his fish prepared as simply as possible in order to highlight its fresh, natural flavor.  Given the option, his top pick in the trout world would be brown trout, followed by brook trout and then rainbows.  Better butter and good sea salt round out the cooking components of the dish.  While I’ve prepared and enjoyed the fish sans grandson, I have a feeling the child might be the most important element in the entire recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole fresh trout, cleaned and gutted, or 2 (10 ounce) trout filets
  • Vermont Creamery Cultured butter 
  • Coarse sea salt
  • 1 grandson

Directions:

  • Heat a frying pan over a medium flame.  Add a bit of good butter and melt over low heat.  When the butter is hot, and the trout to the pan. Move it once or twice to avoid sticking. 
  • When the lower flesh of the fish appears to be cooked nearly up to the backbone, but not quite entirely there, flip the fish over and cook it the same way on other side. 
  • Sprinkle with coarse sea salt to taste.  Add a dab of soft butter on top and eat it while it’s hot.
  • Serves two.

Caution: If the grandson is young, keep him from getting too close to the fire or the pan to avoid injury.

Check out Ari's book, A Lapsed Anarchist's Approach to Building a Great Business