1 protein – 3 vegetables – 1 starch
Running a catering company in Colorado, I get a lot of requests for “Colorado-inspired food.” Young couples getting married here want to show off the local fare to their out-of-town guests, and when you’re talking bison, lamb, duck and trout – well, I’m happy to oblige.
This week’s recipe features trout, which is hands-down one of my favorite kinds of fish. Trout are members of the Salmonidae family of fish, and actually pretty close relatives of salmon, though they don’t carry that strong fishy taste that is associated with salmon. Instead, their flavor is delicate and mild. Some of the best ways to prepare trout are pan-frying, oven baking and grilling (ah…grilled trout). Today’s recipe uses the broiler on the oven, but I can’t wait to give this a try on the grill, to include charring all the peppers over the hot flame. The whole dish will take on a wonderful smoky flavor. And while my personal idea of “camping” involves hotels with limited amenities, those of you who like to spend your weekends in the wild will thoroughly enjoy this dish in a cast iron skillet over an open fire.
Here are a few things to know about cooking trout:
- Take some time to remove the pin bones before cooking your trout. I have a special pair of tweezers I keep in my kitchen for just this purpose.Run your hand over the fillet, and you’ll be able to feel all those tiny bones popping up. Just grab the ends with your tweezers and pull them out before cooking the fish.
- Do not scale the trout. The fish will flake easily off of the skin after it’s been cooked.
- Do not over-season or over-sauce your trout. Different fish have very unique flavor characteristics, and trout is no different, with a very delicate flavor. When you purchase fresh fish and prepare it properly, you can almost taste the babbling brook these little guys came from. Use a light hand in your seasoning and don’t try to drown the fish (haha – “drown the fish”).
- Trout should be cooked quickly, at a temperature between 350 and 400 degrees F. Don’t overcook your trout. Keep an eye on it and remove from the heat as soon as it flakes easily with a fork at the thickest point.
For this week’s recipe, I decided to embrace the flavors of the Southwest and pair my fish with a fabulous sweet potato hash and lime/cilantro-infused yogurt. For those of you who don’t live in Colorado, try this recipe, and you’ll know exactly what you’re missing!
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 green chili pepper, poblano or pasilla
- 1 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
- 1 Tbsp. lime juice
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, divided
- 1/4 C. nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 10 green onions, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. Morton® Lite Salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 (6-ounce) trout fillets
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/4 Tbsp. ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- Pinch of crushed red pepper flake (to taste)
- Lime wedges, for serving
Preheat broiler. Cut red pepper, green pepper and green chili pepper in half and remove seeds and veins. Place on a baking sheet prepared with zero-calorie cooking spray and flatten with hand. Spray top of peppers with cooking spray and season lightly. Place peppers under broiler for 8-10 minutes or until skin is charred and blackened. Remove from oven and place peppers in a plastic or paper bag, seal and set aside for 10 minutes. When cool enough to handle, remove skin from peppers and dice.
Combine the cilantro, lime juice and half of the cayenne pepper with the yogurt. Add a pinch of salt and pepper if desired. Set aside.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray and add the diced potatoes with the diced peppers and season with half of the salt and pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until potatoes are golden brown around the edges, up to 10 minutes. Add the green onions and stir. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
In a small bowl, combine remaining salt and pepper with chili powder, paprika, cumin, coriander, remaining cayenne pepper, garlic powder and crushed red pepper. Mix well.
On a baking sheet lined with foil and coated with cooking spray, place the trout fillets skin side up. Place trout under broiler and cook for about 3 minutes, or until skin is golden and crispy. Flip fish and sprinkle flesh side with the seasoning mixture, adding a bit of cooking spray to help it adhere. Return to broiler and cook for one minute more, or until fish is cooked through.
Serve the trout fillets draped over the pepper and potato hash, and top each fillet with a dollop of the cilantro-lime yogurt. Serve with lime wedges.
Makes 2 servings