Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Among the Wildflowers Trout

I really like that Tom Petty song.

"You belong among the wildflowers. You belong in a boat out at sea. You belong with your love on your arm. You belong somewhere you feel free."

In 2005 we moved from this...

to this...

I didn't want to leave the mountains. But, with my love on my arm, I immediately fell in love with my new environs (the wildflowers helped, to be sure!). The biggest perk has got to be the diversity of city life, and the eating that goes along with it.

That said, a bunch of meals we started eating during our years in the mountains will be on the table for years. This is one. My kids are pretty picky. But they're pretty good about fish. And they both like trout. In fact, when we go camping we always eat trout on the first night. It's even better around the campfire.

The key (to the kids liking it) has to be the spices. They really do not like plain fish. On the occasions that I prepare it plain they scamper into the kitchen for a lemon - one lemon per kid - and drown each insufferable bite in lemon juice. Sometimes there's gagging. It's a different story when a dry rub (blended spices) is involved.

There are several dependable sources for quality blended seasonings: The Spice House in Chicago and Penzey's Spices both have fantastic catalogs, though nothing beats in-person tasting and smelling. Chef Paul Prudhomme's seasonings are available in most grocery stores (but you can't rip those open to smell). For this recipe, I use Hometown, a blend made out in Port Townsend, Washington. I stock up on it every time we're in Seattle. It can be found in Town & Country markets.

Hometown Trout
Print recipe only here

Purchase one trout per person (the children split one), looking for nice bright eyes or firm flesh. At Whole Foods, where I buy trout, the fish dude will 'top and tail' them for me so I don't need to deal with fish heads at home. Ick.

Preheat grill.

Rinse trout thoroughly in the coldest water - you want to do this with all your fish. Remember, they came from the icy depths. Many chefs will rinse saltwater fish in icy saltwater.

Pat dry with paper towels (both sides) and place on a large baking sheet.

Dust liberally with a good blended seasoning.

Grill skin side up for 2 minutes (on hight heat) and then flip using the biggest, firmest spatula you've got. Mine is stainless steel.

Cook another 2 minutes (check so see that it flakes easily) and serve. Lemons optional.

*Thanks to Kate for naming rights (she named it Hometown Trout after eating it) and Cousin John for capturing Chicago's wildflowers and skyline.


Unknown said...

Myhusband swears by the trout "recipe" his dad used while camping. Trout wrapped in bacon (use the Applegate Farms - no nitrate bacon - called SUNDAY BACON). Wrap it up in foil and throw it on the grill for 10 minutes or if you like the crispy bacon thing, forget the foil! My brother in law Paul- a culinary academy graduate - likes to make it for his kids with a potato chip coating. Buy the best chips you can find - Boulder Potato chips are a favorite around here (any flavor), crush them but not too finely, and dip the trout in flour, then egg, then into the chips and pan fry a few minutes a side. The kids love it!

Kate Jaquet said...

Katie's Hometown Trout is the best fast fish meal EVER! Hooray Hometown Trout!