Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Wake Up and Smell the Trout
I hear all the time, mainly from Wisconsinites, that brown trout make poor table fare. Well, to put it a little more in the local vernacular, they "don't eat very good," or "they taste muddy," or "livery." I beg to differ--or, as The Bard might had said, had he hailed from Wasilla, AK, "I refudiate that."
We eat brown trout for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, though generally not on the same day. Last Saturday was an exception--trout with bacon and apples for that breakfast/lunch thing, grilled trout with deviled cream sauce for dinner. The next day it was whitefish fresh from Lake Superior courtesty of Halvorson Fisheries in Cornucopia on the South Shore. I think I could eat fish every day, when it's this fresh.
What with the trout season closing out in a couple of days, I've been taking every chance to be on the stream. Unlike most fly fishermen, I fish to harvest, as much as to partake of the graceful art of the long rod. The September rivers gave up a few small fish on a recent outing, ideal for this breakfast dish of rye-coated fillets cooked in bacon drippings (my friend Twink was making fun of me recently for saying fillet, pronounced FILL-ette, but that's the way my Canadian Grandpa Leitkie said it, and he's the one who taught me to FILL-ette a fish, at Lake Brereton in eastern Manitoba way back when, so I'm sticking with it).
At any rate, having harvested, having filleted, I simply salted the fillets lightly, dredged them in rye flour, and fried them in the drippings from a few slices of our home-smoked bacon. I got the idea originally from a Rick Stein recipe for oatmeal-coated herring with bacon. My Bide-A-Wee innovation was to add apples fried in the bacon drippings, too. They made a delicious addition to the plate, bringing brightness and tartness.
Another lovely example of simple, seasonal fare highlighting the best local stuff. A pretty good way to start the day.
Text and photos copyright 2010 by Brett Laidlaw