By Montana Grant

Posted: February 18, 2023

Fish is a healthy and tasty meal. There are so many ways to cook and prepare them from raw sushi, fried, baked, broiled, grilled, smoked, poached, stewed, sticked, pattied, puppied, caked,… Now I sound like a Bubba Gump shrimp guy. Anyway, fish are what you make them.

I am often surprised when some folks say how they hate to eat fish. They also seem to love salmon or tuna, which are some of the oiliest and strongest flavored fish. They also tend to enjoy Tilapia, which smells like what they eat, but that’s another story. Many fishermen are also not very good at cleaning or filleting fish. Trout, and panfish, have a lot of bones and need to be dealt with accordingly. Filleting is a learned skill.

When I offer trout filets to people, they say, “I don’t like trout.” Usually, they feel trout is fishy tasting, too soft, not flaky enough, and just not something that they would enjoy. They also don’t like fried foods. After a few more questions, they often reveal that they have never even eaten trout, but this is what they heard. It may have also been a meal that was not cooked well.

This is how I felt about Salmon. I had never had salmon prepared properly. After a trip to Alaska, I brought home a cooler of coho’s and decided that I needed to do some research. With a little recipe help, Salmon has become a favorite dish in the Montana Grant home.

When I give trout to friends, they are fileted, skinless, and on a Styrofoam tray, just like from the grocery store. I use a marker to identify the date, location of the catch, how many fish, and what species of fish. Fresh is always best but frozen fish are fine for several months. They also got a few copies of some recipes that I have found to be well received.

Trout is a mild and delicate tasting fish. They are loaded with healthy vitamins, omegas, and good stuff. Stocked/ farmed trout may be the healthiest of all fish since they come from waters that are the cleanest and most healthy tested. Trout are an ecological Canary in the Coalmine for quality waters. If water is terribly toxic, trout die first.

After a lifetime of cooking fish, here is my simplest, and “go to”, recipe for trout and panfish.

 Trout Fish Fry

                First, you do not have to fry trout in a deep fryer. Air fryers are a healthier and tasty option. Deep fried fish in peanut oil , with fried French fries or onion rings, and certainly tasty but also less healthy.

When I fry fish, I use Blood Orange olive oil. A local company called Ollivelle, sells this infused oil. If I don’t have olive oil, I use Canola oil. A little oil goes a long way. The filets do not have to be submerged in the oil. If I deep fry, I use the healthier Canola. If I Air Fry, I just spritz a little olive oil on top of my filets.

Make sure that your fish filets are thoroughly rinsed and patted dry with a paper towel.

Place complete Pancake mix, dry, into a zip bag or bowl. I add some Old Bay seasoning because I am from Maryland and love seafood. You can also use your own favorite seafood spice blend, or just salt and pepper.

Coat the filets in the dry mix and lay them onto a wax paper covered tray. Allow the coated filets to rest for at least 30 minutes. This allows the coating to set onto the fish.

Add a little Blood Orange/ olive oil to a fry pan and fry until golden brown. The result is not a heavy batter coating, just a nice light coating. When the fillets are done, place them onto paper towels to dry.

Now you have perfectly healthy and tasty fried fish filets. No skin or bones. Use these filets as is with a fresh Tartar sauce. You can also crumble them to use in Fish Tacos, or on a fresh bun as a fish sandwich. Add whatever add ons you like and enjoy. Your taste buds will thank you!

Try some Trout for a healthy and delicious meal.

Montana Grant

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