Can’t get enough trout

Cynthia
Cynthia Stone
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Maybe it’s because we’ve had such a nice run of weather this spring — we’re all a little shell-shocked — but I have gotten more requests from you campers and fishers and barbecuers than in the past 10 years put together.

If you can’t wait to light a fire and cook up a storm in the woods, more power to you. I’d rather bring the trout into my nice clean little kitchen. However you plan to cook them, here are my contributions to the success of your fishing trip, or at least your cooking expeditions once you get home with your catch.

Trout Roasted with Garlic, Mustard and Fresh Herbs

Whether you cook these in a baking dish or on a rack over an open fire, these flavours are aggressive enough to work their way under the skin of the most recalcitrant fish. Speaking of fish skin, don’t even consider discarding this delightfully tasty treat.

6 serving-sized trout

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced

2 tbsp. Dijon mustard (or hot or grainy mustard)

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. fresh lime juice

1 tbsp. brown sugar

1 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme

2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 tsp. each salt and freshly ground black pepper

Remove heads and tails and dry trout thoroughly with paper towels. Cut diagonal slashes about one inch apart and 1/4 inch deep along the length of the fish on both sides. Whisk together garlic, jalapeño pepper, mustard, olive oil, lime juice, brown sugar, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper and rub it aggressively all over the fish, pushing the mixture into the slashes and rubbing it inside the cavity. Place on a lightly oiled rack in a baking dish and roast at 425 F for 15 minutes or until the flesh along the backbone separates easily when pried up with a fork. This will work perfectly well on a medium-hot barbecue, on a Coleman stove, or over an open fire using one of those fish baskets — be sure to oil whatever you cook it on first, of course, because you want the delicious skin to come free.

Cajun Grilled Trout with Onion and Tomato Relish

You really couldn’t do this with light fish such as cod or halibut, but trout cries out for seasoning.

This classic Cajun barbecue rub is delicious on meat, as well, and this sweet and tangy relish goes with just about anything you can imagine on your table. It is a fresh relish, however, so it won’t keep for more than a few days in the refrigerator.  

On the other hand, I like it on a sandwich with tuna or chopped chicken, so it doesn’t go bad in my house anyway. Double or triple the rub mixture, however, because it will keep. The amounts below make plenty for 6 servings.

Onion Tomato Relish:

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 cups diced onion

1 tsp. ground allspice

1/4 cup black olives pitted and coarsely chopped

3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. each salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped, seeded and well drained

2 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, minced

2 tsp. fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped (or 1/2 tsp. dried, added with allspice)

Trout:

6 medium trout

1 tbsp. smoked paprika (or regular paprika)

2 tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. each red pepper flakes, freshly ground black pepper, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder

Make the relish first because it has to sit for a little while for the flavours to meld. Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or frying pan and fry onion over medium-high heat until the edges start to brown. Don’t let the onion get too soft —you want a firm texture. Add allspice, olives, vinegar and sugar and bring to a boil.

Remove from heat immediately, cool slightly and stir in remaining ingredients. Cool to lukewarm and serve; refrigerate if it won’t be served within an hour.

To prepare the trout, remove heads and tails and dry skin thoroughly. Combine paprika, thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes, pepper, salt, onion powder and garlic powder and rub aggressively all over trout, including in the cavity.

For more intense penetration, make shallow cuts diagonally down the length of the fish and rub the spice mixture into them.

Allow to sit 10 minutes then grill or broil about 15 minutes or until the flesh at the backbone flakes with a fork. You can also fry these in a little vegetable oil. Serve with warm sweet tomato relish.

Grilled Asian-Marinated Trout

The same Far East tastes that complement salmon go perfectly with trout.

This is the one to pick for those larger fish that you’ve skinned and plan to serve fillet style, allowing one fillet for two to three people.

Although perfect on the grill, these can be baked at 425 F or even fried in a non-stick pan.

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tbsp. each vegetable oil and rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp. sesame oil

1/2 tsp. hot chili paste — available in most grocery stores or substitute hot pepper sauce

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 large trout fillets

2 tsp. olive oil

1/4 cup water

2 tsp. sugar

1 chopped green onion

Combine soy sauce, oil, vinegar, sesame oil, chili paste, black pepper  and garlic. Place in a shallow glass dish and submerge fillets in mixture.

Refrigerate at least one hour but not much more than two. Remove trout and rub off as much of the marinade as possible; set aside.

Dry fish with a paper towel and rub with olive oil. Grill over medium-high heat about 10 minutes or until flesh flakes easily with a fork.

While fish is cooking, put marinade in a small pot and add water and sugar.

Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes, until it reduces a little. Stir in green onion and drizzle over or serve with trout.

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.

Geographic location: Far East

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