Although catch and release fishing is often encouraged and even legally required in many jurisdictions for trout including rainbow trout, there are often lakes and rivers where it is legal to catch and keep fish. It is hoped that when anglers do catch and keep their fish, that they will actually cook and consume it. I’ve seen where some anglers had good intentions of cooking up and enjoying their catch of rainbow trout, but end up not bothering to clean them almost immediately and end up discarding the fish. I think this is a real shame, especially as cleaning a rainbow trout is little work. And although there are many tasty recipes, one of the most simple ways to cook rainbow trout is also one of the tastiest and is no more work than preparing other meals.
For smaller rainbow trout, simply cleaning the fish and then cooking in a skillet with butter can be delicious. Medium to larger sizes of trout can benefit from some additional preparation. One of the nice things about trout and salmon is that they do not have to be de-scaled before they are cooked. After cooking, the skin of the fish will fall away from the delicious flesh easily.
Here’s one method I enjoy, which can be cooked over an open fire, in the oven, or on the barbecue:
Ingredients (in addition to the trout):
1 Medium size onion
1/2 Green Pepper
Salt and pepper to taste. Fishing lures
3 or more tablespoons of softened butter.
Finely chop the onion, green pepper and onion and mix them together along with the butter in a bowl. Sprinkle salt and pepper if desired.
After removing the head and cleaning the trout, stuff the body cavity of the trout with the mixture of onion, apple and green pepper. If you have any of the onion, apple and green pepper left over, cut slits down the sides of the outside of the rainbow trout. In the slits, press in pieces of the apple, onion and green pepper.
Double wrap the fish in tinfoil.
If cooking in the oven, preheat oven to 350F. Cooking times will vary depending on the size of the fish, but should be a minimum of 20 minutes. Fish will be ready when the flesh flakes easily and is white.
The same method may be used to cook fish on the barbecue or even on hot coals on an open campfire.
Many who enjoy fly fishing in remote locations or where keeping some of your catch to consume is legal find that there is nothing tastier than cooking your rainbow trout over an open campfire. When in season, adding fresh wild fiddleheads will add another dimension to the taste of your meal that is just downright delicious