After salmon, trout is probably my favorite fish to eat. With a richness of flavor it needs little dressing up to really shine. This basic baked trout recipe really highlights that feature of trout by not covering it up with a lot of extra flavors. The bacon and the onion just accentuate the flavors that are already there and make them really pop!
A key element to making a truly spectacular trout dish is the fish itself. Because we are relying on the fish to provide the flavor, you must select it carefully. Ideally you can have fresh caught rainbow trout from a cold, clean river or stream but I know that isn't always possible. So if you aren't off to go fishing the day you are cooking your baked trout, shop carefully for the best trout.
Look for farm raised organic trout. This will give you the best odds of having great trout for dinner. Trout pick up a lot of flavor from the food they are given and fish raised in overcrowded pens on corn meal will not taste that great. This is also why I am not a fan of trout from small lakes with warm water. They simply taste like mud.
Ingredients for Baked Trout
- 2-3 lbs. dressed trout
- Sea salt and black pepper
- 6 slices bacon
- 1 thinly sliced onion
- 3 tbsp. soft butter
- 2 tbsp. flour
- 1/2 c. fine cracker crumbs or panko
Start by preheating the oven to 375°F. While it is heating, sprinkle the trout generously with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
Spread three slices of the bacon on the bottom of the pan and spread the onions out in a layer over that. Arrange your trout on top of the onions. Blend the butter and flour together and carefully spread across the trout. Sprinkle with your break crumbs or panko and top with the remaining three slices of bacon.
Bake, uncovered 25 to 35 minutes depending on the thickness of your trout. One real problem you can have with fish is over-cooking, so be sure to watch your fish carefully as you start getting close to the time is should be done. Perfectly cooked fish should look just slightly moist still and be easily flaked with fork but not have that translucent raw look inside.
This recipe is easily adaptable to other types of fish, so don't be afraid to experiment and try out other fish.