Trout Meunière

Goin’ Fishin’? Yup…

You cannot catch trout with dry breeches.
~Spanish Proverb

As you read this post, I am wearing waders (It’s a really good look.), thigh-deep in the Yellowstone River—fly fishing for trout. Before you get too impressed, let me say that I am not a fly fisherman. My first and only encounter with the sport (?) occurred right after college when my then-boyfriend tried to teach me the art of the cast in my driveway (’cause doesn’t everyone do that?). I never got it right, but it did make for some serious comedy. And for 5 minutes I was an awesome girlfriend.

Fast forward a few years. (Actually, it’s almost 20, but I refuse to wrap my mind around that.) Here I am again trying to figure this whole thing out. The best part is we are in Yellowstone, which has been on my bucket list since I studied Geology and Volcanology at the U of O. (Geek alert! Obviously that career didn’t pan out.)

Despite visions of Chevy Chase and his station wagon (or maybe because of it) we decided to load up the kids and the car, and experience a real family vacation complete with plenty of whining, bathroom stops, and “Will you stop touching me!”. It’s all worth it because good or bad this will be a trip that we will remember for years to come.

Below is my favorite recipe for Trout Meunière adapted from James Peterson’s cookbook Fish & Shellfish. This book is another one of those must-haves for any cook’s library. It is a great reference for cooking anything and everything that comes from the water. I have included his intro…seems appropriate.

Trout Meunière
I must have been four or five when my mother took me and my brothers into the mountains of California for a week of camping. We’d pitch a tent big enough for the whole family, and my mother would be up at dawn, rod and reel in hand, to fish for our breakfast. The trout would end up sizzling in bacon fat over an open fire. No trout has ever again tasted quite the same, but this recipe is as close as it gets.
~James Peterson

Makes 4 Main-Course Servings

four  12-ounce trout, gutted
salt and pepper
½ cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons clarified butter
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter or extra virgin olive oil (optional)

Rinse off and dry the trout. Season the trout with salt and pepper and then dredge in the flour. Pat the fish thoroughly to shake off any excess flour.

Heat the clarified butter in a sauté pan, preferably oval, and place the trout in the hot butter. Cook over medium heat for about 4 minutes on each side, depending on their thickness. The trout should turn crispy and golden brown. Transfer the trout to a plate covered with paper towels, pat of the cooked butter, and arrange them on hot plates or on an oval platter. Sprinkle with parsley and lemon juice and serve.

If you are serving the trout with the traditional meunière butter, discard the cooked butter from the sauté pan, add the fresh butter, and heat it over medium heat until it froths. If you’re using olive oil, just heat it until barely hot. Spoon the hot butter or oil over the trout and serve immediately.

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