Trout Fishing photo

A Seattle native, chef Eric Donnelly has headed multiple successful kitchens in the Emerald City, but last year he took the leap and opened his own restaurant where he could focus on his real culinary passion: fish. Donnelly is a serious fly fisherman and he named his new restaurant for his favorite Montana fishing hole, Rock Creek. Donnelly loves flyfishing the West, and whenever he can sneak away from the kitchen to get out on a wild river for a few days, he does. Rock Creek is decorated with giant prints of its namesake fishing hole as well as a handful of photos of Donnelly in action, rod in hand, knee-deep in a river. For this recipe, Chef Donnelly has paired wild rainbow trout with a lentil ragu and topped it with my favorite food accompaniment—a runny egg.

Sautéed Wild Rainbow Trout with Black Lentil Ragù and Sunny Side Up Egg


For the lentil ragù:
6 oz. bacon, cut into 3/8-inch strips
2 tsp. olive oil
1 cup finely diced onion
1 cup finely diced leeks
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup black lentils, dry
3 cups chicken stock
1 tsp. thyme
Pinch of black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of sea salt
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp. sherry vinegar

For the trout:
4 6 oz. trout fillets
1 Tbsp. olive oil

For the egg:
1 duck egg or large chicken egg
1 tsp. butter
1 oz. watercress or arugula
Olive oil, to taste
Salt, to taste


Make the ragù: In a medium-size stainless steel pot sauté the bacon with the olive oil over a medium-high heat. After the bacon is cooked, add the onion, leeks, and carrots and continue to sauté for approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Add the lentils and then the chicken stock, thyme, bay leaf, both peppers, and salt. Bring this mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Finish the ragù with the Worcestershire and sherry vinegar. Remove from heat and place to the side.

Make the trout: In a large sauté pan, preferably cast iron, heat the pan over medium high heat then add the olive oil. Lay the fillets in the pan, skin-side down. Cook for about 1 1/2 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a non-stick pan to a low temperature. Add the butter to the pan. Gently add the egg to the pan, and cook until the whites have solidified but the yolk is still runny.

Toss the watercress or arugula with a bit of olive oil and salt.

To serve, use a large platter and place the lentil ragu on the bottom, then the four trout fillets on top. To finish, add the egg on top and garnish with the greens.