Friday, 16 July 2010

Barbecue trout

 The weather here in the UK has, for most of us at least, been fantastic for the last few weeks.  Some have even complained that it has been too hot!  Typical then, that on the day I should decide to have a barbecue, it turns out to be pouring with rain.  Anyway, I'm not the kind of person to let a mere bit of weather get in the way of a good plan, so I persevered.  I have been meaning to write about barbecues for a while, since although I like a good barbecue as much as anyone I often find that they are far to heavy on the red meat front.  Its always sausages, burgers, steak and maybe some chicken legs if you're lucky.  There's nothing wrong with any of those of course, it's just that I find it hard to consume nothing but red meat!  So, I have set out to try barbecuing fish, in this case trout.

 Here we have your basic farmed trout.  I'm not sure of the exact species, but I suspect from the pale pink band down its side that it is a rainbow trout.  Now, I've been fishing once or twice and I know that a rainbow trout caught in the wild looks much more obviously like its name-sake, but for a farmed fish this isn't a bad example.  My friendly, local fishmonger has already gutted this fish for me and I suggest that you get yours to do the same.  The first thing to do, as the coals of the barbecue are heating up, is to wash the fish to remove any remaining blood from inside.

 That's more or less all the preparation the fish needs!  All that remains is to season the inside of the fish with some salt and freshly ground black pepper.  I also added some roughly chopped fresh parsley and a couple of bay leaves.  I then used some wooden cocktail sticks to hold it all together so that the herbs wouldn't fall out during cooking.  That's the fish ready for the coals!

Since I didn't feel that the trout would be quite enough for one meal, I've also added some sausages and an orange pepper (barbecue's particularly well I find, particularly when seasoned with black pepper and a little olive oil.  Leave it until the skin starts to go black).  In this case, the fish took about half an hour to cook, 15 minutes per side.

 I've served this with a basic potato salad made from new potatoes boiled with the skins on, which were then left to cool and sliced into a mix of natural yogurt and cream, along with some chopped spring onion and some freshly ground black pepper and salt.  The fish was really nice, although trout has a very subtle flavour so you have to be a bit careful not to overpower it.  Ideally, I would have added some fresh dill to the herbs I put inside the fish, but I didn't have any on this occasion.  Let's hope that the sunny weather comes back!

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