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Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Outdoor Cooking: Preparing Trout and Recipes to Try
Today I was looking through my outdoor cooking folder and realized I had prepared a ton of posts in this series and left them in limbo for some reason..... so this week begins the reemergence of the weekly outdoor cooking post (knife reviews should also be coming atl east bi-weekly and some skill based content at least once a week). This week I wanted to focus on trout and trout preparation. Lets first dig into preparation of a trout. This is best done river side right after catching the fish but when you don't have a phone with you its a little hard to make a video so kitchen it is in the video below (thank Jeremy Moran for demonstrating the cleaning process while I play cameraman). I say that creek/river side is the best place to prepare a fish because the filet process is much easier (if you don't plan to use the left overs of the fish after filet you can leave them for the birds, coons etc. or use for trapping purposes) you also can take the fish right back to your water source and clean it off before returning to camp to cook or preserve the fish (I will have an article/video on smoking food later this summer). So without further delay the video below will demonstrate how to prepare a trout for bone-in cooking (I tend to cook this way with trout only as the entire bone structure will pull out at once if the fish is cooked and prepared properly leaving you with much more meat for your meal. But beware there can be the occasional small bone so be careful when eating and possibly try a different filet method (I will show one in the smoking post) which removes the bones from the fish.
Need A few Fishing and Cooking Accessories For Your Kit?
Garlic and Herb Trout
This recipe only calls for two ingredients you would have to take with you into the woods Olive Oil and Garlic and Herb spice. I always keep a container of olive oil in my pack (cooking and tool maintenance- I use it on my knives as I use them for food preparation a great deal) so if you also do that all you will need to do is grab a small container of garlic and herb spice at the dollar store and you will be set. A frying pan is the preferred cooking medium for me (cast iron works best but I just used an old pan for this fish) but this can also be done in an aluminum foil wrap or a make shift frying pan using aluminum foil and a tree branch with a "Y".
Once you coat the pan with olive oil (be liberal with your olive oil use) then be sure to rub the inside of the fish with olive oil and coat it with the seasoning before placing it in the pan. you can then cover the fish with a light coating of olive oil and seasoning before placing it on the fire.
As you can see on the coals is the best place for it not direct flame. I like to let mine darken a little as I feel it adds to the flavor profile of the fish but to each their own. For those who will ask what is in the pot... Bear Creek Gumbo (Link to my Review Here- LINK) because it pairs perfectly with fish (catfish cooked with butter and old bay seem to be the best bet for adding to the gumbo in my opinion).
A close up of the fish ready for consumption.... like a said if you don't want the extra crunch cook it a little less, but I will tell you this was one of the best trout filets I have ever had!
And final picture of the filet paired with the gumbo (do your self a favor and rib off about 1/4 and throw it in the pathfinder cup it will make the gumbo pop a little).
Old Bay & Butter Trout
This is my second favorite way to prepare trout and favorite way to prepare catfish. If you make a spice kit for you pack do yourself a favor and include old bay, it seems to make everything I've cooked in the woods better! Now to address butter. I obviously used real butter and it can be carried it without refrigeration but if you want to go for something that is even easier to carry grab a few margarine packets from KFC, the taste isn't as good but it is a mess free way to have butter in the woods. Be sure to get butter and a good bit of old bay on the interior of the fish as it helps with the overall taste.
Seal the fish completely in an aluminum foil container (if you are making different flavors or different types of fish that need to cook longer mark them).
Place directly on the coals of your fire flame equates to inconsistent cooking temperature and will leave you with an unevenly cooked or just burnt fish. I tend to check my fish after 30 minutes or so.
The finished product should come out like this and taste somewhere in the amazing range!
Here is a close up of the finished product a little lighter on this one as it was a thinner fish and I was was using butter vs olive oil.
Salt/Pepper and Buttered Trout
This is by far the easiest recipe to make trout aside from simply sticking a forked stick through it and roasting it... Once again condiments from KFC (Margarine-3 packets, salt-two packets and pepper- 8 packets) will do just fine if you want to add something to your cook kit that is both cheap and mess free.
Once again wrap in foil and place directly on the coals of your fire (a log cabin fire is what I tend to use whenever I want a nice hot set of coals for cooking in an expedited manner).
Finished product is very plain Jane looking, but full of flavor and equally delicious!
My final method/recipe for today is demonstrated in the video below. This method of cooking essentially is using a pronged stick to drive through the fish (preferably in two places for security) and cooking over the fire for 45 minutes to an hour. While this lacks in taste compared to the above methods, it is great when you have little to nothing with you and you want to eat your catch while along the river.
If you are like me fishing is one of your favorite things to do in the woods. Many people say their favorite way to secure a meat source is hunting or trapping but I will always say fishing as it relaxes the soul and can just remove all of the background noise that comes with life. Nothing in this post is ground breaking but hopefully it convinced you to add a little aluminum foil, olive oil and a few spices you your mess kit. I have found that old bay seasoning seems to go with everything I make in the woods (as does pepper) and olive oil I use for every meal for the most part, maintenance of my cast iron and maintenance of my tools which makes it multipurpose enough to make it into my kit. I hope to see a few pictures of your favorite ways to prepare a fish in the comments!
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