A few weeks ago, I announced my Summer Seafood Challenge. I vowed to take advantage of my proximity to the ocean and teach myself how to cook with seafood. My first goal was whole fish. I would like to announce that I have conquered my first goal! That’s right, my friends. Whole fish. On the grill. And guess what! It was one of the easiest meals I’ve ever made.
There I was, standing at the seafood counter at Berkeley Bowl. It was mid-afternoon, and there was no line. (I know, right?!) I was pacing in front of the display case, checking the Seafood Watch app on my phone to see what I could buy. The fishmonger was patiently waiting as I scrutinized each offering then typed it into my phone to check with my guide. Chilean Seabass? “Avoid.” Tilapia, imported? “Avoid.”
I let a woman go ahead of me and watched as she expertly selected 4 whole rainbow trout. I turned to my phone. Rainbow Trout? “Best Choice.” Hmm.
“I’ll take 2 rainbow trout. Whole, please.”
I came home and read a dozen recipes, and came up with my take on Rainbow Trout with Mango Salsa. Here’s what I did.
You are going to prepare the trout, make the fresh mango salsa, and grill the fish. Makes 2-4 servings, depending on the size of the trout or the appetites of the diners (Paul and I could only finish one of the fish).
~for the fish~
2 whole rainbow trout
salt and pepper
~for the salsa~
2 mangoes, cut the 2 cheeks off of each (4 pieces total)
2 jalepeños, cut in half, seeded
1/2 c. cilantro, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
juice of 2 limes
1 T olive oil (+/-)
Rinse the trout, inside and out. Pat dry with paper towels. Brush the trout with olive oil, inside and out. Salt and pepper the fish inside and out. Fill the cavity with sliced limes. (You can improvise here–add garlic, other veggies, spices.) Put the fish in the refrigerator until it’s time to grill.
Grill the mango pieces and jalpeños for 3-5 minutes on each side. Chop the mango into chunks and dice the jalepeños. Combine with cilantro, green onions, lime juice, and olive oil. Salt to taste. Put in a serving bowl and set aside.
Grill the fish 8 minutes per side. Flip carefully, only once, or else your fish may fall apart. The skin will be crispy and dark. Gently move to a platter. To serve, carefully pull back the skin. Slide the meat away from the central spine to keep from pulling out too many of the bones with the flesh. Serve with mango salsa and other summery sides.
Last night, we celebrated the longest day of the year with a quintessential summer meal. Dining on the patio, we had grilled trout, corn on the cob, rice, a green salad with avocado, and Lagunitas IPA. For dessert: black mission figs.
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