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Here’s how to cook that trout you’ll soon be reeling in
OUTDOORS

Here’s how to cook that trout you’ll soon be reeling in

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In mid-October, trout will be stocked across Nebraska in small city park ponds and state park lakes. Keep your catch fresh and you can have a wonderful meal.

Fish are a perishable food product, and the quality of the meal is only as good as the handling of the fish after the catch. If practical, fish can be kept alive until just before cleaning.

The best method is to keep them as cold as possible, as soon as possible. If you know you are going to keep fish, take along a cooler with ice and place them in it immediately after catching.

A 10-inch rainbow trout is one of the easiest fish to prepare for the pan. It is not necessary, or advisable, to skin or filet a small trout, as they have delicate flesh that is best kept whole. The method is to remove the internal organs and gills, and then wash.

Do this by making an incision along the belly from the vent to the gills, and disposing of the entrails. The gills may take a little more cutting to release them from the head. The head can be left on or removed depending on the diner’s sensibility. Notice a dark area inside and along the spine of the fish. This is the fish’s kidney and can be removed by gently rubbing while washing. It does not change the cooked product if left in.

Here are two easy methods for cooking trout, from the Nebraska Game and Parks’ Larry Pape:

» Pan fry: Dredge in a mixture of flour, salt, pepper and seasoning of choice. Fry about three to five minutes per side in a quarter-inch of medium hot oil. Use spatula to turn the fish gently. When done, place on a platter to rest for a few minutes before serving.

» Bake: Wrap in foil and cook on the grill or in the oven. To keep the fish moist use butter, olive or vegetable oil; just a splash will do. Spices can be delicate such as rosemary and parsley, or bold such as Cajun and curry, but remember that a little goes a long way. To add flavor and edible ingredients, include sliced onions, garlic cloves, capers or artichoke hearts.

Seal this foil packet and bake on the grill grates or in the oven on a baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes (350 degrees). Serve after resting for a few minutes and then placing each packet in front of the diner on a plate. Open carefully to release the steam and aroma.

A trout meal is best served with rice and vegetables.

If you are just getting into fishing and want more details, the Game and Parks’ Going Fishing Guide is available at OutdoorNEbraska.gov/howtofish.

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