The hub-dubs and I went trout fishing in the Bighorn Mountains today.
The deal is this: if I go help him get a load of firewood, we get to spend the rest of the day fishing. I’d say that’s a solid deal.
Last time we went, we had very little luck–between the two of us fishing for three hours, we caught 5 and kept two fish. Not a stellar batting average. Today, though, we met our limit of rainbow trout in 2 hours. And by we, I mean the Cod-man. I caught two all day and kept one fish. I’m pretty sure it was a pity fish. I was a bit jealous until I realized we would have enough trout for four meals.
Trout are awesome. They’re easy to clean, have very few scales, and taste delicious. I got to work frying some up when the Hub-dubs suggested I write a blog post. I told him I didn’t measure anything let alone write it down, when it hit me: you don’t really need a recipe to make a great dinner–you just need the Internet and a vague (and I mean vague) idea of what you’re doing. This post is more of a guideline post.
We decided to pan-fry our trout tonight so we got out the trusty old cast iron pan and filled it with less than an inch of oil. While the oil is heating, mix up a batter. A simple egg wash and flour batter is perfect for these fish because it’s a nice light batter that adds flavor. In one bowl, lightly whisk one egg and a little bit of water or milk. In a separate, shallow container (think sandwich-size Ziploc containers), combine flour and your desired spices. I used a little over 1/2 c. of flour and had a lot left over. Anywho, add whatever spices you’d like and get your flour mixture to the taste you want. The spices I used this time were:
- Dill Weed
- Black pepper
- Grated parmesan cheese
- Old Bay
- Dry mustard
The amount of spice and what I use varies every time, so it’s like a surprise dinner every time we eat!
When your oil is almost ready, go ahead and batter the fish. If you have a lot of fish to fry, only batter what will be used in the next batch. Otherwise the batter will get soggy and it won’t fry nicely. When the oil is ready, put the fish in and fry for 2-3 minutes per side.
Here’s my biggest dilemma though: I had no tartar sauce. I really enjoy my sauces (especially ketchup), and not having any tartar sauce seemed a bit like a sin to me. So I did some searching on the handy-dandy Internet (thank you, technology), and found recipes for homemade tartar sauce here, here, and here. Then I winged it. It looked to me like there was about a 3:1 or 4:1 mayo to sour cream ratio (or you could add the tangy zip of Miracle Whip, a personal fav), pickles or relish, onion, hot sauce, pepper, lemon juice, and whatever else tickled your fancy. So I made up my own:
- 3 big spoonfuls of Miracle Whip
- 1 regular-sized spoonful sour cream
- Couple dill pickle slices, chopped fine
- Onion powder
- Black pepper
- Old Bay
- Squirt of lemon juice
- Couple drops hot sauce
I just kept adding things until it tasted like what I wanted, or in the Hub-dub’s words, something I “wouldn’t be ashamed to serve to company.” Seriously.
I just had a vague idea of what all I needed and then winged it.
Then I decided to have a beer with dinner just to make sure everything would taste fine =) Enjoy!