This week I caught my first trout all on my lonesome! I grew up going trout fishing every summer with my Daddy and my Papa (my maternal Grandpa) in the Donner Lake area. When I was a little girl, I didn’t eat fish and I would just eat the marshmallows that Papa brought for bait and when I got a bit older I mostly liked having somewhere new and beautiful to read a good book. Lately, my interest in fishing has been re-sparked as my palate has matured to include more things that swim.
My birthday present from my Daddy this year was an awesome fishing backpack, stuffed full of powerbait and tackle. I’ve been trying out the smaller lakes around Tahoe this summer with no luck, as I seem to lack the decades of experience that my tutors have. On the recommendation of a co-worker, this week I went to Indian Creek Reservoir and caught the aforementioned trout. Getting my first kill made how lost I got getting there totally worth it. I’m sure that the look on my face when I put the little guy on the stringer was a lot like what our cat looks like when she is sitting on an injured mouse and planning where to leave us her trophy.
So, here is the ‘before and after’ of my trout. The recipe comes from a combination of baked fish in parchment that I learned how to do from Chef Stefano on my internship in Tuscany and a lunch special of ‘Trout with Caper Beurre Blanc’ that Chef Rob ran at the Riva Grill this summer. It’s lucky my sweetheart is off being an American hero (he’s a wildland firefighter), because this lonely little fish made a perfect dinner for just one. If you have better luck out on the lake than I did, this recipe is easily doubled to feed more people.
Trout In Cartocio – served with brown rice pilaf and roasted runner beans
Serves one – cost approx $1.75 per person
- parchment paper
- black pepper
- 1 oz. white wine
- 1 inch rosemary sprig
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- 1/4 lemon
- 1 tsp capers
- 1 oz butter, divided
- 1/2 cup brown rice
- 1/4 onion, small dice
- bay leaf
- 1 cup vegetable stock or water
- 6 oz runner beans (a small handful) any sort of green beans would be a good substitute
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Start with the pilaf by melting half the butter in a small sauce pot. Sweat the onions, season to taste with salt. When the onions are translucent, add the rice and saute the rice one minute. Add the stock or water, when it comes to a simmer add the bay leaf and cover the pot. Let it simmer on low for 30 minutes while you work on the fish.
Tear off the parchment paper so that it is a few inches longer than your fish. Salt and pepper the cavity and stuff with the garlic, rosemary and lemon. Put the parchment on a baking sheet, then put the fish on the parchment, then pour the wine over the fish (that way if it spills, it’s on the baking sheet and not your counters!). Put the remaining butter and the capers over the fish and fold the parchment into a delicious little fishy envelope.
Trim the beans and season them with salt and pepper and add them to the baking sheet with the parchment wrapped fish (why dirty another pan?) and bake for approximately 15 minutes. If your a lucky schmuck who caught a bigger fish you may need to bake it for about 5-10 minutes longer, if so check on the beans in about 15 minutes.
Hopefully, everything will be done around the same time and you’ll be ready to dive in, enjoy!