Now that it’s the holiday season and the festive entertainment has begun, I thought I’d offer a personal favorite recipe. I like to serve this as a starter when entertaining fishing friends. What better way to remember (and plan) a good fishing season than enjoying a trout you caught yourself? I like to use fresh brown trout (if I can catch them in fall / winter) but any trout from the market will do (this photo is a rainbow trout). The trick is grilling …
- Fish: Cleaned brown trout (skin and head on). Lightly rub the fish inside and out with olive oil. Add a dash of salt and pepper to the fish and fill it with thinly sliced apples (or lemon wedges). Wrap the fish loosely in foil with the blunt side, with the seam running the length of one side.
- Grill: Real charcoal with a bit of mesquite or apple wood is best, but gas grills work well. You want medium, even heat. Cook your fish under a closed lid. How long depends on how hot the grill is, how thick the fish is, how tall it is, and other factors. Five minutes on each side is a good baseline. First cook with the seam down. After five minutes turn over and open the seam. Cook for another five minutes with the lid closed.
- Bruschetta bread: You can buy small pre-cut bruschetta bread for most foods, but you can also cut a loaf of French bread into ¼-inch thick slices. Place the pieces on a baking sheet and bake them in an oven preheated to 250 degrees for 15 minutes (or toast them on the grill … watch until they turn golden brown). Crackers will do too.
- Sauce: A simple mix of half green Tomatillo Salsa Verde (hot) and half light mayonnaise is my favorite. Add this to the top of the bruschetta, like sandwiches.
With a sharp knife, cut off the back of the fish and carefully peel a fillet from the bones. You can then lift the tail to pull the bones off the other fillet. With a fork, add tender pieces of grilled trout to the bruschetta covered with sauce, then perhaps a very small drop of the light green sauce on the fish.
(For the brave, use horseradish as a bruschetta base for some flavorful ones). Serve as a snack or appetizer.
Check out these other two recipes: Simple Fish Ceviche and Fish Chowder, you and your family will love them!
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Kirk Deeter is an editor at Field & Stream and co-authored the Little Red Book of Fly Fishing with the late Charlie Meyers.