Ketchum may not have that wide a variety of fresh fish, but it sure does have good Idaho trout! Nine times out of ten it's my fish of choice at the grocery store because of how fresh it looks, which makes sense really, since all of the other fish have to travel from the coast. The trout is never frozen, it's obviously local, and it's cheap- often the least expensive fish in the case at $8 per pound!
I never cooked trout before coming to Idaho last year. I had certainly eaten it at restaurants; in fact one of my favorite fish dishes in Marin was from Fish. in Sausalito. The restaurant's daily fish special features your choice of oak-grilled fish on pasta, on a sandwich, or atop organic greens from County Line Harvest (one of my favorite farmers to visit the Marin Farmers' Market). And I always ordered the greens with trout! But it was the Man who got me started cooking it.
One of the things I love about this fish is how crispy the skin gets when it's properly seared in a hot pan. Trout fillets are quite thin and cook very quickly- in fact they're the perfect thickness to achieve crisp skin and cook the fish practically all the way through without having to flip it, making for beautiful soft and tender flesh. If your fish cooks through before the skin becomes too crisp- fantastic, otherwise have a preheated oven ready and place your pan directly inside until the fillets are done.
I served the trout pictured above with my Fennel Roasted Garbanzo Beans and some sautéed radicchio with balsamic vinegar. It makes for a deliciously creamy meal with a bit of bite. But the trout would also be great with a simple green salad like they serve at Fish.! In fact, I think we'll have to serve that at the wedding...
Another perk- similar to my Spice Rub Baked Cod with Lemon, this recipe doesn't require any measuring!
PAN SEARED TROUT
- 4 (6 ounce) boneless trout fillets, skin-on
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon, 1/2 sliced into wedges, the other 1/2 left whole
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Rub your fish with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add a splash of olive oil to a large cast iron or oven-proof stainless steel skillet, and heat it on medium-high heat. Once hot, add the fish skin-side down. Once the skin starts to crisp, the fish will release from the pan, but until then don't touch it!
You will begin to see the top of the fish lighten in color as it cooks through. Check the crispness of the skin by gently lifting a fillet with a spatula. Once the skin is golden and crisp, add a squirt of lemon juice to the pan. If the skin is done but the flesh not quite cooked through, put your pan in the oven for just a couple minute to finish it off. Serve while hot with lemon wedges as desired.