Summer steelhead fisheries are happening all across the state right now, and catches have been fairly good for early-arriving fish.
In this week’s Seafood Recipe of the Week, Anthony’s Restaurant Chef Pat Donahue offers a delicious recipe on how to cook up steelhead. Anthony’s will contribute some of their cooking advice and recipes for the Reel Time Fishing Northwest blog in our Catch of the Week each Wednesday.
Other contributing experts are Chef Tom Douglas; Tiffany Haugen, Outdoor Cooking expert/author; tackle shop owners; local seafood-market owners; and fishing guides and charter services.
Here is advice and a recipe from Chef Donahue on how to prepare steelhead:
Steelhead is a ray-finned fish in the salmon family and is one of the top sporting fish in North America. They are usually dark-olive in color, shading to silvery-white on the underside with a heavily speckled body and a pink to red stripe running along their sides.
Steelhead is known for its tender flesh, rich color and mild, nutty flavor. The fish can be grilled simply seasoned with salt and pepper, baked whole in the oven or poached in a flavorful liquid and simmered gently to cook through.
When purchasing steelhead filets, the fish should not smell fishy nor have milky, opaque eyes. It should have bright red gills and skin, firm flesh and all their scales intact. Steelhead is similar to rainbow trout but is known to be a bit more robust in flavor, with their meat deep red in color.
Chef Pat Donahue loves to simply grill steelhead, season lightly with salt and pepper and serve it with a bright, summer bean and fresh corn salad to accentuate the natural simplicity of the fish.
Fresh Steelhead with Brown Butter Couscous, Summer Bean Salad and Crispy Pancetta Bacon
2 Pounds Fresh Steelhead Fillet
4-5 Cups Summer Bean Salad (recipe below)
4-5 Cups Toasted Cooked Israeli Couscous (recipe below)
4-5 Tablespoons Cooked Pancetta Bacon
1-2 Tablespoons Light Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cut filets into portions (skin can be removed before or after cooking).
Brush lightly with oil, season with salt and pepper.
Grill skin side down for 3-4 minutes or until the edge of the fish is cooked about ½ way up. Flip the fish and complete cooking (2-3 minutes or when the internal temperature is 145 degrees. The skin can be easily removed at this point.)
When fully cooked, turn fish over with the “flesh side” up and serve on platter with cooked couscous and summer bean salad. Sprinkle cooked pancetta over fish.
Two Cups Dry Israeli Couscous
Six Cups Water
One Tablespoon Salt
One to Two Teaspoons Oil
¼ Cup Salted Butter
Heat oil in medium pan over medium-high heat.
Add the dry couscous and toast, frequently shaking the pan, until the couscous is slightly golden (1-2 minutes). Remove from heat.
Bring water and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the toasted couscous and cook until al dente (4-5 minutes). Remove from heat and drain.
Heat a small pan over medium high heat. Add the salted butter and cook until melted and brown in color.
Toss the cooked couscous with the browned butter.
Summer Bean Salad ingredients
One 15 Ounce Can Garbanzo Beans
One 15 Ounce Can Black Beans
One Cup Edamame Beans (shelled and fresh or frozen)
One Ear Fresh Corn (blanched and removed from cobb)
¼ Cup Diced Fresh Red Bell Peppers
Two to three Tablespoons Favorite Caesar Dressing
Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans and black beans. In a large bowl, mix the garbanzo beans, black beans, edamame, fresh, blanched corn, diced red bell pepper, and Caesar dressing.
Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour. Can be made up to 1 day ahead.
(Yields 4 to 5 servings)