Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Grilled Whole Trout


Please also see our 2008 Trout Post!

We like to go camping in New Hampshire later in the summer - set up the tent, blow up the air mattress (a necessity!), start the fire, and - surprise! - cook outside all weekend. When we go, we rent a canoe and go fishing for trout and perch... it's so peaceful to be out on the lake in the late afternoon's setting sun, just floating and pulling in a few fish.

On the shore of White Lake, New Hampshire:


Stacey throwing in from the shore - doesn't work too well in glacial lakes, but made for a nice picture!!


Here's a nice-sized perch that Stacey pulled in:


While we wait to go again in August and September, we've begun to crave those lake fish. They had a few fresh-looking trout, dressed, at Stop and Shop so we thought we'd give the whole fish a shot on our new grill.

The victims:


When I was a kid, my brother and father and I would catch trout while camping and memories of bacon-wrapped trout on the grill resound in my mind. I couldn't resist including bacon with the trout! So we rinsed and patted-dry the trout, then massaged a light layer of olive oil inside and out. We salt-and-peppered the inside, then placed garlic, lemon slices, and a big bunch of rosemary and thyme (fresh from the back deck) in the cavity. We then wrapped bacon slices around the fish and - holding the fish closed - toothpicked the bacon on to hold everything together.


These guys went on a very hot grill - covered and maintained at about 425-degrees - for 10 minutes per side.


The bacon fat acted as a self-baster and although it caused a few flare-ups, they were quick and harmless. The end result:


Delicious! Trout isn't exactly the MOST flavorful fish (edit: it's pretty darn delicious), but with the lemon and herbs and bacon, we coaxed the most out of it... doneness was perfect, the flesh slid right off those little, translucent bones. With the trout, we had a spinach salad with feta cheese, olives, and capers. We also threw some thick tomato slices on the grill for a few minutes.


Can't wait to go camping later this summer and get REAL fresh fish! If anyone knows of good camping and fishing spots in New Hampshire/Maine, let us know!!!

18 comments:

sher said...

That looks wonderful!!!!!! I agree about freshly caught fish, cooked outside on a crisp morning while you're camping. It's just about perfect when you do that.

Nerissa said...

The only time I had freshy caught, freshly cooked trout was at an amazing lake in coastal BC. I still remember it fondly. One of the best fish I've ever had!

Boston Chef said...

We can't wait to head up to New Hampshire and get some pics of our fresh-caught fish!!! We usually go later in August and early September.. but we are already wishing to go after this post!

Shaula Evans said...

I grew up fishing for Dolly Varden and Rainbow trout in the mountain lakes of British Columbia, Canada.

We'd clean the trout, fill them with a mixture of chopped onions, tomatoes, and parsely, with a little lemon juice and a dab of butter, and cook them over the fire or a coleman stove. I've never tasted better fish in my life -- although, as you know, it is hard to beat the taste of fish you've caught yourself.

My Dad still fished for trout up in the Headwaters Lakes near Brenda Mines in BC -- I'll see if he has any other trout recipes for you, and I'm sure he'll be interested in yours.

Boston Chef said...

Lots of BC fishers out there... we'd love to visit that part of North America at some point down the road!

Anonymous said...

i was wondering if you scaled them or not?

Boston Chef said...

Hi - no, we didn't. Keep in mind that these trout that we cooked were store-bought. We cooked them as they came, just rinsed them out.

The bacon had melded with the outer skin in a crispy, lovely combination that we enjoyed...

Anonymous said...

I would like to cook Trout as you have and have a few questions: Prior to grilling do you just cut all along the belly to clean out? Cut the heads off and pull the tail to pull the spine and bones out after grilling? Other details?

Boston Chef said...

First off, these particular trout were store-bought so they were already cleaned. Cleaning in this case simply meant that the guts were pulled out - and nothing more.

However, in our experiences cleaning and cooking lake/stream fish, that's really all you need to do... get rid of the guts and cook it whole.

The easiest - and most humane - way we've found to "take care of" your fish is to pull one out of the bucket with your left hand (sharp knife in the right hand) and lay the fish down on a log or stump facing right. Take the knife blade-side down and - in one smooth, quick motion - stab the point of the knife just behind the gills at the top of the head and slice down, basically removing the head. In our experience, the fish doesn't even move after this so we feel like it's more humane than bashing the head with a rock or whatever. We own fish in a tank at home and we do love animals, so we try to be as kind as possible. If there's a better way, please leave a comment!

Then, slice up the belly and the guts come right out with a little pulling! Just rinse a little and you're ready to go. Filleting is a possibility at this point, but if you have small fish you'll end up with little meat. The best way seems to be to cook it over the fire whole, then the flesh will pretty much flake off the bones when it is cooked. Simply season inside and out and put it on a grill or even skewer on a stick and cook right on the fire, then use the oldest utensils in the book (your fingers) to pick off the meat...

Again, please leave more comments for us if there are better ways to cook lake fish... we are pretty new at this ourselves and are out to learn! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I recall some method of pulling out the spine and bones after cooking it whole. Would I be able to do this by pulling the head?

Boston Chef said...

hmmm... sounds possible, although you may be left with shredded meat. the meat does slide right off the bones after being cooked...

Anonymous said...

Your pictures looked so good, I incorporated your bacon wrap into my regular recipe and grilled my fish instead of (usually)baking it. Fresh caught 2+ pound Lake trout. Cleaned it. stuffed with lemon slices and sea salt. brush the outside with olive oil, more sea salt and a shake of old bay. then wrap with the bacon slices (toothpicks were tough but if you lay it right, bacon should still melt with skin enough to keep it together). 12 minutes on each side at around (400-450 degrees). It's done when a fork goes in easy. It was awesome.
Thanks!!!

Boston Chef said...

That sounds INCREDIBLE!

We are jealous of your fresh-caught laker and can't wait to get in some early-season trout fishing this month!

Anonymous said...

Wow, your fish look delicious and your camping spot looks so serene. I camp in Wisconsin and catch my fish right there. We actually brought a grill and a cast iron frying pan to cook our fish on. A little salt, a little pepper, garlic and butter does the trick - without running the risk of the fish falling apart on the grill. When it's finished we put some lemon juice on and voila! A yummy shore lunch. Give it a try. Also, for everyone worried about scaling trout...trout and catfish have no scales. Trout skin is fine to eat, but you should skin your catfish.

Boston Chef said...

Wisconsin Anon - We gotta say, we're loving your shore lunch!

Can't wait to head up to northern New Hampshire next weekend to fly fish for some native brook trout. We'll release 99% safely, but - if we come across the right one - we'll give the cast iron pan a shot!

Anthony said...

All great recipies, I just caught 2
nice speckled trout off my dock in
Perdido Key, and plan on trying the
bacon wrapped grilled technique.

Price said...

I just came home from BC with about 20 rainbows, and have to cook them all up tonight for a group of about 12. This looks so delicious I think I'll give it a shot!

Anonymous said...

Damn, that looks good. I just finished frying my trout, and I can not believe I didn't look up this recipe first. NEXT TIME !!!