You ate the best of it at the campsite, then the second best on the barbecue last week, but if you were lucky, maybe you have a meal or two of trout in your freezer.
For the rest of us, we can beg or buy to enjoy today’s recipes.
Roasted lemony spiced trout
You want the whole round fish for this dish — don’t use thin fillets because the spices will overwhelm them. This recipe feeds 4 to 6 and will work equally well with salmon steaks or any flavourful fish.
1 tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
1 tbsp. each ground coriander and smoked paprika
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. each ground cumin, salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 lb. fresh whole trout
Combine lemon zest, coriander, paprika, brown sugar, cumin, salt and pepper and rub all over the outside and in the cavities of the trout. Place on a foil-covered baking sheet and roast at 425 F about 15 minutes, or until fish flakes at the spine. If you prefer, barbecue over medium heat. Serve with fresh lemon wedges, fresh chopped cilantro and maybe roasted potatoes.
Eastern inspired trout in tomato sauce
I don’t know why, but traditional East Indian flavours go perfectly with fresh trout. The whole seeds and garam masala, which is really a spice blend, are available now in most of the bigger grocery stores or at one of those bulk food places. Jasmine or Basmati rice would be fabulous on the side.
1 tsp. each salt and freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/2 tsp. hot curry powder (or mild if you prefer)
4 medium-sized whole trout (or 1 per person)
3 tbsp. vegetable oil (divided)
1 tsp. each whole fennel and mustard seeds
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. cumin
1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes (The fire-roasted kind are great in this.)
1/2 tsp. garam masala
Combine half the salt and pepper with the curry powder and rub briskly on the outsides and in the cavities of the trout; set aside, uncovered, in the refrigerator. In about half the oil, fry fennel and mustard seeds a few minutes over high heat until they start to pop. Add onions and fry until they start to soften and brown. Add garlic and cumin and cook just until fragrant. Add canned tomatoes and garam masala and simmer together, covered, about 15 minutes. Fry trout in remaining oil in a clean pan, browning them thoroughly but not cooking them completely. Place in single layer in a baking dish and cover with tomato sauce. Bake uncovered at 350 F for 15 to 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily.
Trout with almonds
Nuts have a natural affinity for trout. This simple recipe makes the most of good ingredients and love for the fish. Allow one trout per person.
1/2 cup flour combined with 1/2 tsp. each salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 whole trout
4 tbsp. butter, divided
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/4 tsp. each salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. each chopped fresh oregano and thyme
2 tbsp. chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
Roll trout in seasoned flour to coat thoroughly, brushing off the excess. Fry in about half the butter until golden brown and cooked through; keep warm. Wipe the frying pan clean and add remaining butter.
Add almonds and cook over medium-low heat until nuts are fragrant and starting to turn golden brown — don’t let the butter scorch. Bring the heat up to high — work quickly now — and add salt, pepper, lemon juice, and fresh herbs. As soon as the mixture foams up pour over trout and serve.
Zesty pecan-crusted trout
Yes, another one with nuts—it’s that good a flavour and texture combination I have to give you two. This recipe uses the classic breading technique—flour, then egg wash, then breadcrumbs. Don’t shortcut this because it is the only way to get a crust to adhere to fresh trout. Again, allow one small-to-medium trout per person.
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. each salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 pan trout
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs (Panko are best.)
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. lime juice (or lemon)
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
Whisk together flour, salt and pepper and dredge trout. Whisk together eggs and hot pepper sauce and dip trout in mixture. Combine pecans and breadcrumbs and coat trout in this mixture. Fry in oil over medium heat until brown and nearly cooked through.
Place in a 400 degree F oven 10 minutes. For the butter sauce, in a clean frying pan, melt butter and add lime juice, Worcestershire and hot pepper sauce. Bring to a boil and pour over fish.
Serve these with an old-fashioned chopped salad and fresh bread.
Cynthia Stone is a writer, editor and teacher in St. John’s. Questions may be sent to her c/o The Telegram, P.O. Box 86, St. John’s, NL, A1E 4N1.