Trout is one of the most versatile fish to cook but sometimes presents issues when served whole due to the tiny pin bones. While it may not have the “wow-factor” that a beautifully cooked fillet of salmon has, mild trout can be prepared in many ways. When tossing into soups, pastas and dips, care can be taken to remove all the bones prior to adding trout to the dish. If grab-bing a trout from the freezer, smoking or baking the fish will yield a firmer meat that’s easy to add to a quick appetizer or main dish.
When defrosting fish, always do so in the refrigerator to prevent the fragile meat from getting mushy. The slower fish thaws out, the better the quality of the meat will be.
Speaking of quality trout meat, with summer just around the corner, warm water temperatures will ensue. In order to optimize the quality of the trout, do not keep them alive on a stringer as this will stress them. Instead, deliver a quick blow to the head then snap a gill rake to bleed the trout, then immediately put in a cooler with ice. The quicker the meat can start cooling, the more firm it will be and the better it will taste. If the fish feels warm and has a thick slime layer, we like scaling and removing all the slime with a garden hose or the back of a fillet knife, which is quick and easy to do.
- 2 cups cooked trout, bones removed and flaked
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon fresh herbs of choice (basil, chives and/or parsley)
- 2 teaspoons spicy mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
- Additional fresh herbs for garnish
In a medium bowl, whisk mayonnaise, yogurt or sour cream, lemon juice and zest, herbs, mustard, pepper and granulated garlic until thoroughly combined. Gently fold in trout and mix until just coated. Serve immediately with crackers or keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
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