Stuffing a Trout or Steelhead Quick and Easy by Larry Ellis
Trout or steelhead that weigh between 2 and 8 pounds are perfect candidates for stuffing.
You can cook most 2- to 3-pound trout and small summer steelhead with their heads and tails on. But if the fish is greater than 3 pounds, you might have to cut the head and tail off in order for it to fit in the baking pan. Turkey roasters found at the dollar store work excellently for those larger fish used for stuffing.
This recipe is perfect for 2- to 3-pound trout and steelhead such as the rainbow trout used in this article. For those larger steelhead in the 7- to 8-pound range, just double the amounts of ingredients.
6 tablespoons butter
Garlic powder to taste
Pinch of garlic powder for sautéing the mushrooms
Old Bay Seasoning
1 medium zucchini (sliced in 1/8-inch slices)
1 medium crook-neck squash (sliced in 1/8-inch slices)
10 medium-size white button mushrooms cut between 1/16 and 1/8-inch thick
1 box of chicken-flavored Stovetop Stuffing
1 fresh lime cut in half
Coat the bottom of your baking dish with butter. That will keep the fish from sticking and also helps to crisp up the skin. For your larger trout and small steelhead such as the one shown in the picture, cut the head and the tail off and butterfly it so that it lays spread eagle in the pan, skin side down.
Squeeze the juice from a fresh lime on both flesh sides of the fish and then season both sides of the flesh with Old Bay Seasoning. Dust each side lightly with garlic powder. Remember that with garlic powder, a little bit goes a long way.
Make the Stovetop Stuffing mix on the stove as per the instructions on the box. Spoon some of the freshly-made bread dressing (about 1 inch thick) evenly over the bottom section of the butterflied fillet. Now spread the slices of zucchini and crook-neck squash evenly over the top of the stuffing.
You’ll only want to sauté the mushrooms immediately before placing them on top of the zucchini and crook-neck squash to keep them from becoming tough. It only takes a few minutes to sauté them.
The trick about washing mushrooms is to first use a slightly dampened paper towel to get most of the dirt off the mushroom, including the sides, top and gills. I take the stems out completely and discard them because their taste is too strong for my liking.
Now place the mushrooms in a colander and immerse the colander quickly inside a bowl of warm water to finish off the cleaning process, while gently and briskly moving the mushrooms around. This procedure only needs to be performed for about 5 seconds tops or else the mushrooms will soak up too much water.
I now place the freshly-cleaned mushrooms on paper towels to let them quickly dry before I slice them into 1/16-inch pieces.
Sauté the mushroom slices in 4 tablespoons of butter mixed with a pinch of garlic powder.
Now spread a liberal amount of the sautéed mushrooms over the zucchini and crook-neck squash slices.
Close the top half of the fish over the bottom half which contains the different layers of toppings and drizzle the rest of the melted butter over the top of the fish.
Bake it uncovered in a 400-degree oven for about 40 minutes until the skin is flaky. You may have to bake it slightly longer if you are using a very large trout or a steelhead.
Your stuffed trout or steelhead is now ready to serve, totally bone free.
This recipe is my own concoction, but there are hundreds of other recipes for stuffed trout and steelhead.
- written by Larry Ellis