Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Grilling Trout

In June I wrote a post about my trip to Mammoth Lakes, California, and how we had fresh trout for dinner. Though I gave some hint as to how the fish were prepared that evening, I thought I’d spend more time on it today, considering we recently enjoyed it again.

And I wanted to focus on trout, because it is really a wonderful fish and I don't hear much about it, either from friends making it, or on cooking shows. It's delicate, moist, flaky, and mildly sweet and needs very little to taste great. If you’re not able to head to your nearest lake and fish for your dinner, but you have a Costco nearby, you’re in business. In fact, as my husband pointed out, it's actually cheaper to get it at Costco. By the time you buy your fishing license, get bait, etc. you've spent more (of course there's the whole fishing experience thing, if you're into that). Costco sells a 4-pack of fresh, whole trout, which are the next best thing. Granted, I’m not the one who deals with the head and tail (I leave that to the fisherman at home), but I think I could, if I had to.

Trout is wonderfully healthy and a good source of Omega-3’s.  Omega 3’s are at critical lows in the SAD (Standard American Diet) and we should be eating more of them.  Omega 3’s cannot be manufactured by the body, so they must be obtained from food and fish is an excellent way to add this critical nutrient to a healthy diet.

Omega 3’s offer many health benefits:
  • They can alleviate inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and help reduce the amount of medication taken for them.
  • They prevent the blood from forming clots, which therefore reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.
  • They protect against heart and circulatory problems and are good for the healthy development of the brain and eyes.
  • People who regularly consume oily fish (such as trout) are less likely to suffer dementia or Alzheimer’s.
  • Making trout a part of our diet can also help reduce bad (LDL) cholesterol and lower blood pressure.
  • In addition, this fish offers Vitamin B12, B6, niacin, potassium, phosphorous and selenium. Fat-soluble vitamins are plentiful in oily fish such as Vitamins A, D, E and K.
Other oily fish are salmon, sardines, swordfish, fresh tuna, anchovies, eel, kipper, mackerel, carp, smelt, and bluefish. As oily fish contain a certain amount of fat it is best to use cooking methods where additional oil is not needed. Therefore, grilling, baking, steaming, and pan-frying are ideal.

And finally, Rainbow Trout is a good choice in terms of sustainability, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s annual Seafood Watch guide.

Ok, so enough about that. We were in the mood for trout again so we headed to Costco and here’s what we did with it.

Grilled Trout with Herbs

Preheat your grill.

Take each trout and rinse it well under running tap water. Pat dry with paper towels.  Place fish on cutting board. Open cavity and stuff with a few sprigs of fresh lemon thyme, lemon slices, salt and pepper. Close up cavity. My husband will use a bamboo skewer, snapped in half, and weave it in and out to sew up the cavity, if you will. This helps prevent the stuffing from falling out when he turns the fish on the grill.

Do this with the remaining fish.  Place the fish on the heated grill and grill about 8-10 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the fish. The rule of thumb is generally about 10 minutes per inch, measuring at the thickest part of the fish, of course.

Remove from grill. Lift fish head with one hand while sticking a fork in under the gills on the underside. Gently pry the skeleton away from the meat by lifting the body up. The meat should easily pull away from the bones. Use gravity. Flip the fish over and do the same on the other side. The head, skeleton and tail will then all be attached to one another and you can throw this out. Congratulations - you've deboned the fish in one fell swoop! Remove bamboo skewers and stuffing from cavity. 

Serve "butterflied" (open) with melted lemon butter.  In my opinion, the best veggie to serve alongside this fish is green beans. Dribble a little melted lemon butter on those, too. Maybe sprinkle on both some sliced almonds for a little texture.

You can also make fish tacos with trout. Simply pan-fry a filet for 5-7 minutes and add to a corn tortilla, along with shredded green cabbage with lime juice. Sprinkle on a little green Tabasco sauce or salsa verde and some “white sauce”, made from a little mayo and sour cream mixed together with a bit of lime juice and grated lime peel.

1 comment :

  1. This sounds like such a great way to cook trout! We have been looking for new and different recipes for this year's grilling season! We just took our out grills of storage and I have been itching to have grilled foods. Thanks so much for your post. I cannot wait to try this.


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