Now that we’re into the holiday season and the festive entertaining has started, I thought I’d offer up a personal favorite recipe. I like to serve this as an appetizer when entertaining fishing friends. What better way to reminisce about a good season of fishing (and plan the next one) than by enjoying some trout you caught yourself? I like to use fresh brook trout (when I can catch them in the fall/winter), but any trout from the market will do just fine (this photo is rainbow trout). The trick is the grilling…
Fish: Cleaned (skin and head on) brook trout. Rub the fish lightly with olive oil, inside and out. Add a dash of salt and pepper inside the fish, then stuff it with thinly-sliced apples (or lemon slices). Wrap the fish, loosely in foil, dull side in, with the seam running the length of one side.
Grill: Real charcoal, with some mesquite or apple wood mixed in is best, but gas grills work fine. You want a medium, even heat. Cook your fish under a closed cover. How long depends on how hot the grill is, how thick the fish is, altitude and other factors; five minutes on each side is a good baseline. Cook seam-side down first. After five minutes, flip over, and open the seam. Cook another five minutes, lid down.
Bruschetta Bread: From most groceries you can buy small pre-sliced bruschetta bread, but you can also slice up a loaf of French bread, ¼-inch thick. Place pieces on a cookie sheet, and bake in a 250-degree preheated oven for 15 minutes (or you can toast them with the broiler… watch until they turn golden brown). Crackers will do also.
Sauce: A simple mix of half green tomatillo salsa verde (spicy), and half light mayonnaise is my favorite. Add this to the top of the bruschetta, like buttering toast.
Using a sharp knife, cut down the back of the fish, and gently peel one fillet off the bones. You can then lift the tail to pull the bones from the other fillet. Using a fork, add tender pieces of grilled trout to the sauce-coated bruschetta, then maybe a very small dollop more of the light green sauce on top of the fish.
(For the brave of heart, use spicy horseradish as your bruschetta base for some). Serve as snacks or appetizers.
Kirk Deeter is an editor-at-large with Field & Stream magazine, and the editor-in-chief of Angling Trade. He is the co-author of four books, most recently the Little Red Book of Fly Fishing.