It’s fishing season in Minnesota! Here’s a fish tale and recipe from Damn Good Food: 157 Recipes from Hell’s Kitchen by Mitch Omer and Ann Bauer:
“They were on their last official father-son hunting trip, in Wyoming, the summer before Mitch went to Iowa State, when Dana spotted a crystal-clear brook packed with trout. He dropped his gun, kicked off his shoes, rolled up his pants, and splashed in. The fish scattered, but Dana slid his hands under rocks and scooped the trout up, throwing them to Mitch up on the bank, shouting at him to kill them by bashing their heads with a rock. This was, apparently, the way Dana typically fished for trout: bear-like. Spooking the fish, watching where they went, and scooping them out by hand. When they went back to camp that night—with a deer as well as a string of fish—they fried up the trout with burnt butter and eggs.”
Fancy Fried Trout with Scrambled Eggs and Burnt Butter
4 sides brook trout, skinned and filleted
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 cup coarse-ground cornmeal (polenta)
3 tablespoons lemon pepper
1¾ cups (4½ sticks) unsalted butter, divided
½ lemon, juiced
4 large eggs
6 tablespoons heavy cream
Ground black pepper
Place trout fillets in a glass or ceramic dish, and cover with buttermilk. Cover the dish with plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least 2 hours. Remove fillets from buttermilk, and discard liquid. Mix bread crumbs, cornmeal, and lemon pepper in a large bowl. Dredge fillets through bread crumb mixture, and set aside.
Melt ½ cup (1 stick) of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, until bubbling. Add breaded trout, and cook undisturbed until bread crumbs only begin to brown, about 3 minutes each side. Remove fillets, and hold in warm oven.
Heat ¾ cup (2½ sticks) of the butter in the same skillet until it just begins to smoke. Remove the skillet from heat, add lemon juice, and set aside.
Melt remaining ½ cup (1 stick) butter in a medium skillet. Crack eggs into the skillet, and whisk to break yolks. Add heavy cream, and stir with a rubber spatula until eggs come together. Remove from heat, and season with salt and pepper.
To serve, place 1 fried trout fillet on each plate. Divide eggs, placing one-quarter of the eggs on top of each trout fillet, and then drizzle with burnt-butter sauce. Makes 4 servings.