Pan Fried Steelhead Trout

My husband made this last night. It’s our new favorite food for dinner. Steelhead trout looks like salmon but we think it is much more flavorful. I made the side dish of sauteed zucchini with oregano and parmesan cheese.

A lot of fish gets cooked in my latest novel, Take Me Home. It is very easy to cook as Andy Radcliffe notes during his interview at the Trout Heaven Lodge along Henry’s Fork, a tributary of the Snake River in eastern Idaho.

She looked his resume over for a few minutes, suppressing a smile. It looked a lot like hers. Dr. Andrew Radcliffe worked on Long Island as an optometrist most of his life, running his own business. He listed several parties he catered: a lobster bake for a semi-famous musician in the Hamptons, a lacrosse event at a SUNY campus, several small corporate events. “So you were in Vail this winter?”

“Yes, I was. I cooked at a lodge at the base of the mountain. A lot of steak, Alaskan king crab, some trout. I can cook trout.” She smiled. “That’s good. Can you improvise? Mr. Rowley mentioned some of the fishermen like to bring their catch in and have the chef prepare it.”

“Fresh fish doesn’t need much. A little butter, lemon, maybe some capers. It’s all in how you cook it. You don’t want to overcook fish.”

The best pan for cooking this is a cast iron pan. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil in the pan and heat until hot.
Sprinkle your favorite combination of grilling herbs over the steelhead trout. This particular night we used Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Blackened Redfish Magic.
Add the seasoned fish to the hot pan, flesh side down and cook until done about three quarters of the way through. Flip onto the skin side to finish cooking. Depending on the thickness of your fish, this should take 7-10 minutes. You want it to be just cooked, still moist and flaky. As Andy says, you don’t want to overcook fish.
Garnish with fresh cut lemon slices. A great work night dinner. It’s that easy.
I sauteed zucchini slices in olive oil, then sprinkled salt, pepper and oregano to taste and grated parmesan cheese.
Enjoy and Happy Reading.

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