Summer is here and that means getting out with the family and doing some fishing in local lakes and streams. One of the fish that is accessible in almost everyone’s backyard is trout. There are many different types, but they all share one thing in common, they taste great. They are also really good for you, high in health-full omega-fatty acids, low in fat and high in protein. This grilled trout recipe is really unique in that it is not only stuffed with rice, it is wrapped in bacon. Go out and catch a few nice fresh ones and try this baby out!
- One 6.4 ounce box wild rice (Rice a Roni Type)
- Butter (about one stick)
- 4 whole trout, cleaned
- Kosher or sea salt
- Black pepper
- 8 strips regular “classic cut” bacon
- Canola or vegetable oil to season your grill
Pick out one of the packaged box rice products from your grocery store. I like the wild rice and herb blend for this recipe or try your own favorite. Prepare the rice as per the instructions on the box. This could be made ahead of time and brought along on your fishing trip for on-the-spot outdoor cooking.
Prepare the trout. This recipe works the best with average size fish of 10-12” weighing about ½ pound. With larger trout you may need more bacon and longer cooking time. The fish should be gutted and left whole with the skin on. Wash them well with cold water and pat dry. With a sharp knife, make a shallow slice down the backbone to the tail as if you were fileting the fish (Insert the knife until you feel the ribcage and follow the back bone as you slice). This will create a channel about halfway through the fish. You do not need to flip the fish over and do the other side. This is merely an avenue to add butter to baste the fish as it cooks. Starting to sound good, isn’t it? Salt and pepper the inside of the fish and inside the slice you made in the back. Take some butter and fill the slice in the back with a nice layer of it. The, stuff the inside of the fish with your rice mix and season the outside with salt and pepper.
Now for the fun part. Starting from the head of the fish, wrap a piece of bacon clockwise around the fish, spiraling toward the tail. Take another piece of bacon and repeat this process going counterclockwise. This will create a kind of bacon weave that will hold in the rice stuffing. Room temperature bacon is best and it helps to stretch it a bit before wrapping. You are now ready to grill this work of art up into a fabulous taste treat.
Prepare your coals or fire up your gas grill to high heat. Clean your grate and lightly oil it just prior to cooking. To oil it, fold up a paper towel four times into a small square and grab it with your BBQ tongs. Dip it in oil and rub over the hot grate. Be careful not to let it catch fire! If you are using gas, reduce heat to medium. You are looking for a 350 degree cooking temperature. If you are on an open fire, adjust your height accordingly. Place the trout on the grill. Cover if possible and monitor closely. This cooks quickly and only needs to be flipped once. Cook for 3-5 minutes per side depending on the size of the trout and how well you like them done. Do not let the bacon catch on fire, you do not want to emolliate your fish! You will know when the fish is done when the meat firms up and flakes with a fork. Test a thick part if you are unsure. Be careful when flipping them. I use a large spatula to flip and take them off the grill and try not to rip the skin. They make an incredible presentation on the plate and the crispy bacon and skin is oh, so tasty.
Dish your masterpiece up with a fresh green salad or Cole-slaw and serve with a light Pinot Noir, Grenache or a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. The best California wines that pair perfectly with all types of fish and game meats can be found on my website at www.wildgamewine. We ship to most states and you will be amazed at what the right wine will add to your dining experience.