When I was growing up in rural Newfoundland and Labrador in the 1970s, fishing for trout was a favourite activity. We had no video games or satellite TV to entertain us back then, but the skill required to catch a trout and fight it to shore made for real excitement - more than any gaming console could ever hope to capture.
Trout, a member of the salmon family, are also one of the most delicious freshwater fish in the world. As a youngster I preferred catching trout to eating it, yet over the years I've developed a taste for this mild-flavoured fish.
When cooking trout, it is important not to over-season the fish. Too much spice will overwhelm the lovely, delicate flavour. The traditional cooking method, in my mind, works best: dredge the trout fillets in seasoned flour and pan-fry in oil on a high heat. This will cause the skin to become crispy (if you use low heat, a fatty fish like trout will absorb the oil, affecting the taste and texture).
Another great way to cook trout is by poaching it - a healthy alternative to the traditional pan-fry method. Here is a recipe for poached trout that can be used as a dinner appetizer or a main course for lunch. Enjoy!
Green tea poached rainbow trout with mint couscous
3/4 lb rainbow trout fillet
3 cups water
2 green tea bags
1 cup white wine
1 celery rib, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
1 lemon, sliced
Combine water, wine, celery, carrot, green tea, parsley, bay leaf, peppercorns and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add trout and simmer, partially covered, for 10 to 12 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork at the thickest part. Garnish with lemon slices and serve with mint couscous.
6 oz. pkg. instant couscous
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted if desired
Prepare couscous according to package directions. When done, fluff couscous with fork and add remaining ingredients. Stir very gently with a fork and serve with poached trout.