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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

April 23, 2014 at 9:08 AM

Local Chef Tom Douglas offers advice on preparing trout to opening day anglers

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(Photo by John Lok, Seattle Times staff photographer)

The ever so popular Seafood Recipe of the Week is back!

This season we have weekly recipes and advice from April through October on how to cook up and dish out a wide variety of local seafood by experts like Tom Douglas; Anthony’s Restaurant; Tiffany Haugen, Outdoor Cooking expert/author; tackle shop owners; local seafood-market owners; and fishing guides and charter services.

Many anglers will be coming home with trout from opening day this weekend, and Seattle chef and restaurateur Tom Douglas provides his take on how to cook them.

Douglas is owner of Lola; Palace Kitchen; Dahlia Lounge; Dahlia Bakery; Etta’s; Serious Pie Downtown; Seatown; Brave Horse Tavern; Cuoco; Serious Pie & Biscuit-Westlake; Serious Pie-Virginia; Tanaka San; and Rub With Love Schack. Some of his other works include Assembly Hall Juice and Coffee and Home Remedy, and this summer he plans on opening a cooking school called Hot Stove Society at the Hotel Andra.

Here is Douglas’ advice on how to prepare them, and wow your guests at the next meal:

My favorite way to cook trout is whole, bone-in, on the grill.  The fish are stuffed with sliced lemons and herb sprigs, brushed with oil, and cooked over fairly hot coals until the skin is crisp and the flesh is moist and flaky.  Go ahead and gild the lily by adding a sauce.  The classic Italian green sauce, salsa verde, is easy to make and especially nice in the spring when bunches of fresh herbs start appearing in the farmers market or in your garden.

To make salsa verde gather up whatever herbs appeal to you.  Parsley is always part of the mix.  I like to add tarragon, chives, and basil or mint.  Wash and dry the herbs and pick the leaves from the stems, then chop finely with a sharp knife and put in a bowl.  Add a bit of minced shallot and capers, squeeze in some lemon juice, and add enough oil to give the sauce the consistency of pesto. Season with salt and pepper.  Salsa verde is delicious with trout or most any fish.  Liam, the chef of Lola, often serves it with whatever whole roasted fish is on the menu there.

If you own a home smoker, you can smoke the trout.  A typical fisherman’s smoker, like Little Chief, is an inexpensive and straightforward piece of equipment.  Before smoking, marinate the trout fillets in a flavorful brine for an hour or two.  You might eat the smoked trout broken into attractive pieces topping a vinaigrette-dressed salad of spring lettuces and steamed, chilled Washington asparagus.   Or you could make a batch of traditional buckwheat blini (Russian yeast-raised miniature pancakes).  Cook the blini on both sides on a griddle brushed with butter.  To serve, brush the blini with more melted butter and top with pieces of smoked trout and a sprinkle of sliced chives.  There’s nothing better with a glass of bubbles.

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