Prior to coming to Washington, I had never eaten trout. It wasn’t readily available in Hawaii as it’s a freshwater fish. To be honest, I looked down on it in the markets here in Seattle next to the halibut, salmon, cod, tuna, and snapper. I thought “what are these little fish and what do they bring in flavor?” As it turns out, trout is rather neutral. It does have some of its unique flavor, but it also compliments whatever seasonings you add to it, similar to cod.
I like baking fish whole. Not only is it great for presentation, but it’s easy to eat as well. You can use a fork to pick through it without any added utensils. Besides, a rectangular hunk of flesh, like a filet, isn’t a good visual for food and where it comes from.
I did de-bone the fish, so eating wouldn’t be too much of a hassle. To de-bone a gutted fish, take your filet knife (very thin and flexible, but more importantly, VERY sharp!) and slip it under the bones on one side of the body, between the bones and the filet. gently slide knife out towards belly of fish. If your filet knife isn’t long enough, do this in segments of a few inches. Remember to keep it as close as possible to the bones to reduce waste. Proceed from spine to belly. You will want the half of the fish you’re processing on the bottom, directly on the cutting board. Also, for safety, always face blade away from you in case you slide it out too fast. Flip body over and repeat on other half. Finally, pull the two sets of ribs together and slide knife under spine between bones and tissue. Proceed from head to tail and take out the spine and ribs as one whole chunk.
You can save these bones for stock or give it to the dog as it has meat scraps and tiny bones, great for teeth cleaning.
Lemon is an easy flavor for neutral fish like trout. I seasoned the belly with lemon slices, salt, pepper, and a touch of olive oil. With each fish in a foil pouch, no fluids will be wasted. It’ll steam in it’s own juices.
Whole Baked Trout
3 whole trout, gutted and cleaned
1 large lemon
Process fish as stated above.
Roll lemon on cutting board with your palm. This will break open some of the juice sacs inside, making the slices more ready to leak their juices onto the fish. Season belly on both sides with drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, and a few lemon slices.
Place on rectangle of foil (or parchment) large enough to fold over fish. Fold up ends and middle, using pinching to seal (for foil) or stapled (for parchment).
Bake in 375 oven for 10-15 minutes, depending on your oven. Open pouch and test with fork. Insert fork into thick part of filet and turn fork 180 degrees. If the meat flakes and pulls off onto the fork, it’s done. If it’s still raw, it’ll just become mushed and won’t come out of the hole.
*Next up…Kim Chee visit 2…*
Filed under: my grindz |