Happy New Year everyone! If you look back a couple of blogs ago, you noticed that we had a good couple of days worth of trout fishing and a whole stringer of fish- now to cook them! We now have a new holiday tradition for the new year- smoked trout! The photo next to the text is my brother-in-law, Charlie Hankins. I caught them, and he cooked them- my compliments to the chef- they were awesome.
I think it is important to note how they were cleaned before we start with how we cooked them. I learned how to clean trout down at Roaring River State Park, in Southern Missouri quite a while ago. It was my first time trout fishing, and I really did not know how to clean them. I have friends who like to leave the head and skin in place (in certain trout areas, you will need to leave the stream area with the fished cleaned as such). I had a gentleman from Arkansas show me how to do it- he cut the bottom of the fish from the head to the back. You then remove the cuts, snap the head back, and use your thumb to clean out the mudline along the spine, and while pulling the trout head back, use your thumb to seperate the skin from meat. Once that is done, get a towel to hold the "meat section" and pull down on the head and skin- like peeling a banana- very easy!
I keep them in freezer bags, fill the bag with water, and drop in the freezer- ready for whenever you would like.
Charlie had a smoker-BBQ set up (I had a photo, but it was to dark to display). He cut the trout into two pieces following the cut along the spine. Once the trout were "halved", he put lemon pepper dry rub and a cajun rub (had some cayenne pepper in it). It was interesting because when I cook trout in foil, I use a lot of butter and such, but when you smoke, you really do not want to use this on the trout. The charcoal was spread out once it was white, and a tub with 1/2 water and 1/2 white wine. the trout were placed directly on the grill, and mesquite and hickory chips that had been soaked in water were added to the grill. We smoked them for about 2 1/2 hours- meat fell right off the bone and the taste was incredible!
Last thought: as much as I enjoyed the trout, and the harvesting of the trout, I enjoy the pricipals of selective harvest- which means out of all the fish I caught this year, I probably released about 2/3 of them- keep our resources pure for the next generation.
To Our Success,