Trout is one of my favorite types of fish to cook and eat. Of course, when it is absolutely fresh all you really need to do is season it with a bit of salt and pepper, cook it by your favorite means, and serve it with a nice juicy wedge of lemon. You just can’t beat it. But if you have been doing your fair share of fishing (assuming you’re actually pulling the big ones in), you’ll probably want some different ideas to dress it up a bit. Here is a simple, creative way of doing just that. Remember, nothing substitutes for freshness. If you don’t have the opportunity to cook up your catch that evening, you might want to consider giving it to a friend or that neighbor you’ve been meaning to do something nice for. If not, be sure to cook the trout within 24 hours or freeze it right away for later.
PAN-FRIED TROUT WITH SIMPLE HERB SAUCE
1 large trout, cleaned and filleted
1 cup flour
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
splash of white wine (preferably sauvignon blanc)
juice of half a lemon
3 tablespoons fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped fine
1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped fine
1 to 2 tablespoons butter
Dredge the trout fillets in flour. Shake off excess. Heat olive oil in a medium-size frying pan over medium-high heat. Season the fillets with salt and pepper. Place them into the pan and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 7 to 8 minutes total. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of your trout. You want the fish to just start flaking but not be falling apart. Remove fish from the pan and set aside. Deglaze the pan with a splash of white wine, and add the lemon juice and herbs. Saute for about a minute–you just want to cook the herbs long enough for them to release their aromatic oils. Be careful not to burn them. Remove the pan from the heat, and swirl in the butter. Pour over your golden trout and serve. It’s quick, simple, and memorable!
Notes: Dried herbs may be substituted if fresh are not available. But reduce the measures by half. For a lighter sauce, omit the butter. You still get a nice, aromatic finished sauce to drizzle over the golden trout.
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