A fillet of trout can be cooked using a range of techniques, depending on the desired flavour. Simple methods to bring out the subtle flavours of trout include pan-frying, grilling or cooking the fillets en papillote. Cooking trout fillets shouldn’t take long, about 2–3 minutes on each side depending on their thickness. If pan-frying or grilling, make sure that the pan or grill is preheated so the fish can achieve a golden-brown, caramelized crust without overcooking the flesh.
As trout is in season over the summer months, try cooking trout fillets on the barbecue. Wrap the fillets in silver foil, this will help to protect the fillets from the high heat of the barbecue. Parcels can be packed with herbs, oils or spices to infuse flavour into the fillets.
Serving trout raw in the form of ceviche, cured or smoked are all great techniques to bring out the unique flavours and texture of the fish. Make sure that the fish is fresh when using these techniques, as the fish will be served uncooked. Try lightly curing trout with a mix of salt and sugar and aromatics such as dill, lime zest, basil or juniper berries – after a 24 hour curing period it can be stored in the fridge for approximately 5 days.
The flavour of smoked trout can be used as an alternative to mackerel in pâté, rillettes or potted trout. Served alongside a slice of Melba toast or crackers, this dish makes an elegant dinner party starter. Trout pâté makes a great alternative to salmon, but the base recipe is similar, using ingredients such as crème fraîche, horseradish and lemon juice.
The flavour of trout is often associated with spring and summer ingredients – the time when wild sea trout is in season. Pairing with light and fresh ingredients like asparagus, cockles and crab make wonderfully seasonal options.