I have been traveling a lot for a month or two and not having much chance to cook – although I’ve discovered some outrageous restaurants. I love to eat in good restaurants, but I miss my own cooking.. My kitchen has been bereft of fresh fruits and vegetables in order to avoid having them rot while I was on the road (or in the air). But now I’m back, and the farmers’ markets and grocery stores are packed with summer fruits and vegetables – the grill has been more or less cleaned – so let the cooking begin!
Tonight I grilled trout. The grocery had them whole, heads and all, but I asked the butcher to chop of the heads and tails and split them open so they would lay flat on the grill. They were too small to bone prior to cooking, but once they were grilled, the bones more or less lifted right out. I decided not to fuss with the trout, since they were fresh and would have their own delicate flavor. Trout Is often sautéed or pan fried, but freshwater trout has a high fat content and can easily stand up to grilling. I made a lightly spicy fruit salsa with and Asian touch to go with the fish.
Grilled Trout with Roasted Pepper-Mango Salsa
4 whole trout, heads and tails removed, and halved lengthwise. (These trout were only about ½ pound whole, and after the head and tail were removed, there was probably 4 ounces of meat left)
Mesquite seasoning (I used Costco’s, which is not too strong)
1 red bell pepper
2 ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted, and cut into ½ inch dice
½ cup sweet onion (like Vidalia or Walla Walla), finely chopped
2 Tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
1 green chili, seeded, de-veined,, and finely chopped (optional)
2 Tablespoons sweet chili sauce (I used Sun Luck, but there are several brands)
Preheat the grill, then reduce the heat to medium low. Cut the red pepper in half and remove the seeds and veins. Place cut side down on hard surface and flatten with the palm of your hand. Spray both sides of the pepper with cooking spray. Place on grill, cut side down. Grill for about five minutes per side, turning once. (I used a barbecue grill pan sprayed with cooking spray on top of the regular grill to make it easier to remove the pepper without sticking). Remove pepper and allow to cool slightly. Cut the pepper into ½ inch dice. Mix the pepper, mangoes, onion, cilantro, chili, and sweet chili sauce in a medium bowl and set aside. Spray the trout with cooking spray and sprinkle lightly with mesquite seasoning. Place flesh side down on the same grill surface you cooked the peppers on. Cook for 5 minutes, turn over, and cook for about 4 minutes more. Serve with salsa. This makes 4 servings. The amount of fat depends in part on the type of trout – rainbow trout have more fat than lake trout, but I estimate that the total fat is about 8 grams/serving.
NOTE on peppers: I had a bag of red bell peppers, and took the opportunity to grill all 5 of them so that I could use them for sandwiches and such. No sense turning on the big barbecue and grilling one every time I need one, when they keep quite well for several days refrigerated in a sealed plastic bag.