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October 2007 Issue
Harvest Trout
by Philip R. Gantt
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Welcome to Seasoned Cooking and to Phil's International Flair!

Fall is the time of the year when trout fishing is at its best in most regions of the country. The water temperatures are dropping and the fish are feeding heavily to sustain them through the winter. In rivers without impediments to migration, steelhead will begin migrating upstream to spawn in a manner similar to their cousin, the salmon.

In the Pacific Northwest, cutthroat trout also migrate into streams during the fall and locals call them harvest trout. Similar to steelhead and salmon, cutthroat trout are on a spawning mission. These fish are a sport only species and cannot generally be purchased in the market. From a culinary perspective, however, any type of trout or salmon may be used in the following recipe.

Now, on to the recipe! Be well, and good eating!


Harvest Trout

Should you happen to catch your own fish, the following recipe should work great. If you are using fish purchased from a market, select a rainbow trout with firm flesh and clear eyes. Or, as an alternative, you can purchase a frozen whole pink salmon. The pink salmon is generally a bit larger than a trout, and will require longer cooking. The scales should be removed from a salmon before cooking unless you intend to discard the skin after cooking. This isn't necessary when cooking trout under 3 lbs.

The flesh of a harvest trout is similar to steelhead, pink or red in color, depending on how long they have been feeding on an ocean diet. Not being strong in flavor, trout lends itself well to seasonings. However, don't over-season trout or you will lose the flavor of the fish.

  • 1 harvest trout, about 1 to 2 lbs
  • 2 springs mint leaves
  • 3 slices of lemon
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 tsp. dried tarragon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Thoroughly wash the fish and place it on a sheet of foil. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the surface and inside the body cavity. Place the mint and sliced lemon into the cavity and place thin slices of butter on the skin of the fish. Sprinkle the tarragon on top and fold the foil to seal the fish inside. Bake in a preheated oven for 12 minutes and then leave the fish rest for 5 minutes before opening the foil.

Serve with lemon wedges and parsley as a garnish.

  • Yields: 2 servings
  • Preparation Time: 25 minutes

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