RECIPES THE VIEW UPSTREAM By: Keith 'Catfish' Sutton, WorldFishingNetwork.com 5 Tasty Trout Recipes Smoke, broil, bake or grill ... try out the following trout recipes to discover your favorite way to cook this tasty fish When properly prepared and cooked, trout provide a delicious entrée sure to please your family or dinner guests. (Keith Sutton photo) I didn’t like eating trout when I was younger. Maybe it’s because I was raised on fish such as bluegills, crappie, bass and channel cats that have mild tasting, flaky, white flesh. Rich-pink trout tends to have a much more pronounced flavor than these other favorites, so I think I was a bit put off by it at first. I know now, though, that when trout are properly prepared, that distinctive flavor is what actually makes them so good. Small trout are tasty deep-fried, but when cooking fish over half a pound, I prefer grilling, pan-frying or baking. Trout lend themselves especially well to good sauces, so I often whip up something new when trout are heading to my dinner table. I also love slow-cooking trout in a smoker. Fish prepared this way can be served as is, with a nice sauce, or deboned and used as an added ingredient in many delicious recipes. The most important thing I’ve learned is, don’t be shy about experimenting. Try some of this, a little of that – a new seasoning, a new sauce, a new herb mixture. Your culinary adventures with trout are limited only by your imagination. Smoked Trout Recipe Ingredients: 4 to 6 trout, about 1/2 to 3/4 pound each 1 1/2 quarts brine (recipe follows) 3 1/2 cups pecan shells soaked in water for 4 to 12 hours, or similar amount of hickory chips Brine Ingredients: 1 cup rock or ice cream salt 1/4 cup brown sugar 6-8 cups water Marinade Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups water 1/3 cup dark brown sugar 1/4 cup lemon juice 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper Directions: Brine. Combine the brine ingredients in a saucepan. Heat the mixture, stirring until it’s dissolved. Turn off the heat and add an additional quart of water. Refrigerate brine until needed. Brining improves the flavor of smoked fish. Rinse trout in cold running water and place in brine solution. I use a large oblong Crock-Pot that can hold up to a dozen fish if I decide to smoke more. Soak fish in the brine in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. The longer you let the fish soak, the better. I typically let it soak for 24 hours. Remove fish from the brine, rinse in cold water and pat dry. Marinade. Mix the marinade ingredients and pour mixture into a 1-gallon or 2-gallon zip-seal freezer bag. Add fish and make sure they are thoroughly coated. Refrigerate fish in the marinade for at least 2 hours, making sure to turn the bag over occasionally. Smoke. Prepare the smoker and spray the racks with non-stick oil. Arrange trout on the rack(s), making sure they don’t touch. Smoke the fish for 2 to 3 hours until fish flakes easily with a fork. Smoker temperature should not exceed 200 degrees F. Trout Norfork Recipe Ingredients: 4 tablespoons butter 4 slices onion 4 lemon slices Black pepper 4 trout, 1/2 to 3/4 pound each, pan-dressed Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Inside each trout, place 1 tablespoon butter, 1 onion slice, 1 lemon slice and a sprinkling of black pepper. Secure with a toothpick. Arrange in a baking dish and bake 15-20 minutes or until fish flakes easily. Broiled Trout with Rosemary Recipe Ingredients: 4 trout, 1/2 to 3/4 pound each, pan-dressed Salt and black pepper 4 sprigs fresh rosemary 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1/2 lemon, cut into wedges Directions: Season each fish cavity with salt and pepper to taste. Add a sprig of rosemary inside each cavity. Rub the outside of each fish with oil. Broil 5 inches from heat source 4-5 minutes per side until cooked through. Serve with lemon wedges. Grilled Trout with Herbs and Vegetables Recipe Ingredients: 1 medium tomato, cut in chunks 1 small zucchini, cut in chunks 1/2 cup seasoned croutons 1/2 teaspoon basil 1/4 teaspoon oregano 1 medium onion, chopped 1/2 cup melted butter 4 ounces grated mozzarella cheese 4 trout fillets, 1/4 to 1/2 pound each Directions: Combine tomato, zucchini, croutons, basil, oregano and onion in a bowl. Brush both sides of each trout fillet with butter, and place each fish fillet on a piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Spoon a quarter of the vegetable mixture on each fillet. Sprinkle each with an ounce of grated mozzarella. Seal the foil and grill for about 15 minutes, turning once. Fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork. Grilled Lemon-Pepper Trout Recipe Ingredients: Any number of pan-dressed trout, about 1/2 to 3/4 pound each Extra-virgin olive oil Minced garlic Lemon-pepper spice Directions: Rub the fish with olive oil, then sprinkle all over with garlic and lemon pepper. Place on a hot grill and allow to cook until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Turn only once during cooking, but run a metal spatula under the fish every couple of minutes to be sure they don’t stick.