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On Your Mark; Get Set: Grill!

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Trout on the Grill

Now that the weather here in south Texas has turned off hotter than a laptop battery and drier than baked sand casserole, it’s time to get grilling!

My buddy Tom over at the Trout Underground is always fishing around for new “on the grill” recipes for the trout he buys at the market. (Okay, I know he claims he catches them; who you gonna believe?) Here’s a version that’s flavorful and spicy:

Spicy Tamarind Trout

  • 6 medium trout, dressed
  • 1 Tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/2-1 jalapeno or serrano pepper, diced
  • 2 oz tamarind pure√©
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1-2 Tbsp red curry paste (Thai, preferably)
  • 3-4 tablespoons fish sauce (nuoc mam)
  • 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon finely-minced cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice (1 lime)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh mint, minced
  • diced bell pepper medley and halved cherry tomatoes, for garnish
  • mint or cilantro, for garnish

Wash the fish and lay them flat, skin side down; stack them, cover and refrigerate. Meanwhile, make the tamarind sauce: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, sauté onion, garlic and chiles in oil until golden. Add next 6 ingredients (down through cilantro) and simmer for 30 minutes or so, until mixture is syrupy in consistency (coats a spoon). Strain through a fine mesh sieve and return to saucepan. Stir in sugar, lime juice and mint. Place over very low heat to keep warm.

Take out the fish and season the inside well with salt and pepper. Set your grill for medium-high, direct heat and oil the grate liberally. Sear the fish, skin side down, for 3 or 4 minutes, then turn and finish cooking. Only turn fish once! Remove to a cutting board and cut each fish into two fillets.

To plate: Spoon some of the tamarind sauce onto serving plates and arrange the fish on top of sauce. drizzle a little sauce over fish (pretend you’re a chef) and then garnish as desired. Serve with a nice white wine, or if you’re preparing this out on the river, then drink whatever beer you have handy.

I’m not kidding about serving this right on the river where you caught the fish! Just make the sauce and garnishes up the day before and refrigerate. Heat the sauce, grill the fish and serve. Trust me, this dish, served in the uncharted wilds (or even in your backyard) actually impresses members of the opposite gender; you won’t be able to keep them away with a fly rod…

Enjoy the Heat!


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