Rainbow trout is among the most widely stocked fish at Alberta markets, and a popular catch for those who like spending time out on the lake. It’s also simple to cook: With a good cast-iron pan you can roast a succulent trout over an open fire, on the grill or in an oven. (And fresh-caught rainbow trout can be quicker to prep than other fish; its small, thin scales mean you needn’t do much, if any, scaling.) This ease and versatility makes the local fish an ideal addition to the menu for your next RV road trip.
• 1 lb. whole rainbow trout, cleaned
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1 lemon, cut into thin slices
• A few sprigs of thyme, parsley, dill, rosemary, cilantro or other fresh herbs
• Canola or olive oil
Turn on your grill to medium-high, establish a solid base of coals if you’re cooking over an open fire, or preheat your oven to 400 F.
Rinse the trout, then pat dry inside and out using a paper towel, and season with salt and pepper.
Stuff the cavity with lemon slices and herbs, and cut a few slits in the skin.
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Set a cast-iron or other heavy-duty pan over your heat source and add a generous drizzle of oil. Once hot, place the fish in the pan, drizzle with a bit more oil and sprinkle with salt.
In the oven: Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on the stovetop, then transfer to the oven and cook for 15 minutes, or until the trout is firm to the touch.
On the grill: Close the lid to create an oven-like environment, then cook as above.
Over a campfire: Cover with a loose tent of foil and/or gently flip by rolling the fish over its spine. Cook until the thickest part of the trout is firm to the touch. The meat should flake off with a fork but still be moist.
(Serves one or two, depending on your appetite)
Julie Van Rosendaal is a cookbook author, food columnist for Eyeopener on CBC Radio in Calgary, and a contributing food editor for the Globe and Mail. She also publishes recipes on her own website, Dinner with Julie.