Got too many trout in your freezer? Bored of your usual recipes? Or just fancy a different way of preparing a trout for your evening meal? This blog post takes a look at some great alternative recipes for cooking rainbow trout.
We have all had times when far too many trout fill our bass bag – either from a small fishery that prohibits catch and release, or maybe a fly fishing competition on a reservoir where a bag limit had to be weighed in. There are other times of course, when it’s just nice to keep a fish for dinner if you fancy one. The main thing is rather than waste these trout by throwing or giving them away, you can cook and prepare them in a way that tastes great.
Fresh-caught and fresh-cooked
Rainbow trout is delicious steamed or baked, whole or filleted. Some even prefer it to salmon because of the lighter taste and lower fat content.
We’ve got a few tasty rainbow recipes for you, but of course the first thing you’ll need to do is gut and clean your fish. It’s essential to get rid of the guts and gills so it doesn’t taint the flavour. The quicker you do this, the better. Many fisheries have facilities on site where this can be done – plus it also stops the wife from moaning about the mess in the kitchen too! Our preferred way to gut a trout efficiently is shown on the video below:
Trout on an open fire
After a long day on the water, you want to be able to get your meal as quickly as possible. Sorted Food reckons one of the best things to cook on an open fire is fresh fish:
“It cooks quickly, tastes incredible and is not only healthy but pretty impressive looking.”
Just season your trout with lemon, fresh parsley and salt and pepper, wrap in foil, and chuck it on the barbecue or grill. Five minutes later, you’re ready to dine. Maybe add a nice salad to up the healthy factor.
Pan Fried Rainbow Trout
If there’s one culture that really knows its trout, it’s the Scots, and Caledonian chef, Graeme Pallister, has worked in some of Scotland’s top restaurants over his time. He says he’d prefer trout over salmon any day:
“I find the lovely sweet, soft flakes of fresh trout irresistible – but it’s also man enough to take on some strong, acidic flavours.”
You’ll need to prep the seasoning and sauce in advance. A mix of fresh herbs, garlic and lemon with white wine and chicken stock (tip: use a stock cube) is easy to get ready early in the day, though.
Make a few 3mm deep incisions in your fish before pan-frying, and give it just a couple of minutes in the pan on each side before you serve up with some asparagus and boiled potatoes. Simple, but delicious.
If you’ve got the patience to wait before eating your day’s catch, smoking your trout makes a delicious option. Craft and sustainability blogger, Kate, from the Country Skills site goes into great detail for the process, but it really amounts to just a few steps.
Make a cure of 1/3 sugar and 2/3 table salt and put a thin layer at the bottom of a non-metallic dish. Place the fish on top, and then another good coating of cure on top of the fish.
Weigh down the fillets to help draw water out – you’re aiming for around an 18% water loss. Take care to avoid putting anything metallic in direct contact with the curing fish. Then put the salted fillets in the fridge.
Kate does detail the cold smoking process, which she describes as “culinary alchemy” but assures that it’s cheap and simple. A cardboard box, a rack or two, and a smoke source will do just fine. It’s a little more intense as a process, but the added flavour to this luxury dish is worth the effort of making it with your own two hands.
Thai baked trout
So far, the most exotic we’ve gotten is a bit of smoking – what about those who prefer their fish with a little more bite? From the multicultural haven of Brixton, and Amy at Feeding Franklin, comes this treat to take you to the Thai beachside.
We’ll skip the parsley and head instead for chilli, ginger and coriander. Pop these into a pestle and mortar and grind into a coarse paste. Split open your fish and fill the cavity with your paste, saving a little to spread on the outside.
Then, line a baking tray with enough foil or baking parchment to cover the fish, and place them on the tray. Add a couple of tablespoons of water to keep your fish moist, and bake at 180 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Get ready for a flavour explosion.
Barbecued trout with prosciutto
The Scots might know their trout, but the Aussies know what makes a good barbecue, and this barbecued trout recipe comes straight from Antipodean chef Pete Evans.
It’s another beautifully simple recipe. Just wrap your fish in prosciutto, adding a sprig of thyme inside the parcel. Then grill for about four minutes on each side. Looking for a bit of extra flavour? Cook with some mushrooms and garlic to add some more taste.
There’s little more satisfying after a good day on the water than getting home and sampling the fruits of your labour. Bon appetit – and remember share your favourite fish recipes on Facebook