Trout, a fresh water fish, with a mild taste and flaky interior, is quite abundant during spring and summer. Trout is relatively inexpensive and you can buy either a whole trout, and slice it in half, or purchase individual fillets – which cook nicely right on the stove top.
Crispy Trout is another one of my favorite things. I remember going camping in Yosemite as a kid with my family, and my Uncle J catching fresh fish from the river, and frying them over an open flame in the middle of our campsite – that was some fresh fish. Those flavors and food memories have stayed with me for many years, that’s probably why I love this fish so much.
Sprinkling trout with a dusting of semolina, cornmeal or flour is a necessity for an superb exterior. It only takes just a smidge to create a crispy crust that will blow your mind, and taste buds….so to speak. A little squeeze of lemon to finish the fish is all you need for a fresh ending.
Spring Orzo is a simple preparation of pasta, with fresh peas, lemon and parmesan. It only take 8-minutes for an extraordinary side dish and boy does it make the trout taste even better. Also, I like to pile a little mixed greens under the trout before plating, because let’s face it – you can never have enough fresh greens.
2-4 trout fillets, skin on
2 tablespoons semolina, or cornmeal
1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
3 cups mixed greens
1 cup dried orzo pasta
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 small white onion, diced
2 tablespoon butter, divided
1 lemon + more for garnish
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
salt & pepper
1. Pat dry trout and place on a plate. In a small bowl, combine semolina, thyme, onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, stir. Sprinkle trout with semolina mixture on both sides.
2. In a saucepan, boil orzo for 6 minutes. Add peas and continue boiling for 3 minutes, drain through strainer.
3. In the same saucepan, add 1 tablespoon of butter and diced onion. Saute onion for 3 minutes, and add orzo and peas, stir. Zest lemon and slice in half, add zest and juice to orzo mixture, along with remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Add parmesan and stir to combine. Sprinkle in 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper, stir. Turn heat off and cover with lid, until fish is ready.
4. Drizzle 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil in a saute pan and place over medium heat. After 3 minutes, add the trout, flesh side down. Cook trout for 3 minutes, or until lightly crispy, flip over. Turn heat to low and cook trout another 3-4 minutes, or until crispy skin. To plate – take a handful of mixed greens and place on plate, layer with a piece of crispy trout and spoon a dollop of orzo on the side. Serve with a lemon wedge to squeeze over fish and orzo. Enjoy!