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Recipe For No-Mess Grilled Trout

By Jim Casada

Several pan-sized trout (those 10–12 inches in length are ideal)
Vegetable oil
Salt
Butter
Lemon juice

Trout freshly caught from a mountain stream are a gift from the food angels, and they are among the easiest of all fish to clean and prepare. Simply cut from the anal vent to just below the gill plate, slice through where the gills join the head, and pull back to extract the entrails. Run your thumb up the inside of the trout to remove the blood line at the base of the backbone, and cut off the head. The secret to this recipe is proper procedure after this basic cleaning has been done. Holding the fish belly-side up, cut directly into the backbone to split it so the fish opens up flat. Be sure to do this without piercing the skin. Brush the inside with cooking oil. Grill the fish skin side down. As it heats, it will tighten and create a sort of bowl effect. Salt lightly, top with a slice of butter, and squeeze a little lemon juice on each fish. In a few minutes the skin will be crackly and the meat will become flaky. Scoop off the grill with a spatula and serve.

TIP: For a piquant variation, try substituting your favorite salsa for the lemon and butter.

—Jim Casada is the author of Field to Feast: The Remington Cookbook. JimCasadaOutdoors.com.