here fishy fishy

About a week ago on a night MUCH nicer than this, I was desperate for groceries when I spied a trout at the store, a whole one. The last time I ate trout was probably 5 years ago at Greystone in St. Helena, which was some of the best I’ve ever had. The irony of that dinner was that a few days prior, I had seen trout on a menu and wondered who exactly orders such a simple fish in a restaurant – alas, I was that person. The last time I actually cooked trout; however… may have been never, save for helping my dad on childhood camping trips. Despite my lack of experience, the fish called to me with a fair price and an alluring challenge.

This also happened to be one of the nicest nights in San Francisco since lord knows when, and being the sun and heat deprived resident I am, I rushed out the door as soon as I got home to join friends for a beer at a bar with some great outdoor space. Three pitchers later (between three of us) later I decided I had to go cook my trout – let the adventure begin.

While looking for cooking method inspiration, I found a recipe where the trout is cooked in bacon grease and I knew I’d found my method. I think the pictures will tell you all you need to know:

1) Render the fat from some bacon
2) Add your fish! Cook about 5 minutes on each side, tilt the pan if necessary to keep the fish in a good amount of grease.
3) Flip when it’s crisp on one side – I added fresh herbs to the inside and outside: dill, parsley, whatever you have.
4) It’s done when the meat easily flakes away from the bone on each side.
5) Believe it or not, this happens easily and looks oh so fancy.
6) Once one fillet is removed, taking the spine off the other half is easy too! Again, it looks much more impressive than it is.
7) Dish it up and enjoy!
And there you have it, a home version of a campfire classic. The fish was tender, moist and smokey, just the way I like it. The herbs add load of freshness to the dish and the only thing really missing was some lemon to brighten it up. Hopefully you have a chance to someday cook a trout you catch yourself, but until then don’t be afraid of a little adventure if you happen to spy one in a store.
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