When you grow up close to the water, be it by an ocean, lake, or river, you develop a natural affinity for fish. You start to appreciate the subtle differences in flavor and texture between various types of fish and learn to cook and eat them in a thousand different ways. In India, where I grew up, fish was steamed, fried, or cooked in curries and served over beds of warm scented rice or bread—and it was always on the menu for weekends. These days, although I live on the other side of the world, seafood is still a mainstay in my Bay Area kitchen, and pan-seared and fried fish are popular options at my home when guests visit. What I like about serving dishes like this Rechad with Trout is the convenience it offers; the spice blend can be made ahead of time, and fish cooks rather quickly, so I’m not trapped at the stove when I want to be spending time with my guests. I lean on rechad masala quite often; it’s a bright red paste that’s prepared by grinding down Kashmiri chiles with vinegar and a few spices. It’s a staple in many kitchens in Goa, a region located on the west coast of India. Goan cuisine is renowned for its use of chiles, but that wasn’t always the case. When the Portuguese arrived in the 16th century, they introduced chiles from South America, which quickly became an integral part of the local cuisine. In Portuguese the word “recheado” means stuffed and in Goa, you’ll see it spelled as either “recheado” or “rechad” on restaurant menus. In this recipe, I lean on Kashmiri chiles for their bright red lycopenic color. These chiles are mild in their heat level and are only sold dry. They’re readily available at Indian grocery stores and spice markets; if you can’t find them, use any dried red chile that you like. The classic choices of fish for this recipe are usually pomfret or mackerel, but I’ve found trout to work exceptionally well. Once it’s fried, serve this fish with warm rice and a light salad and a few wedges of fresh lime or lemon to squeeze over the top.
Pan-Seared Trout with Green Garlic and Crunchy Chanterelles
Top Chef Season 15 winner Joe Flamm wowed judges with this simple but virtuosic dish of pan-seared trout with garlic and chanterelle mushrooms. In his quick-cooking dish, crunchy breadcrumbs cling to seared chanterelles and garlic atop delicate trout in a pool of buttery white wine sauce. To make the sauce, let each cube of butter fully incorporate before adding the next. (Do not let it come to a boil or it will break.) Green garlic, the mellow, early-season young garlic, can be found at farmers markets and Whole Foods; garlic cloves are a fine substitute.
Pancetta-Wrapped Trout with Sage and Lemon
Globe-trotting TV chef Andrew Zimmern sometimes trains his roving eye on the food of his home state, Minnesota. Here he gives the Midwest’s local catch the saltimbocca treatment, pairing grilled whole trout with Rome’s bright and savory flavor trio: pancetta, sage and lemon. Slideshow: More Trout Recipes
Smoked-Trout Crackers with Broken Tapenade
Chef Eli Dahlin of Dame in Portland, Oregon, heats this two-ingredient olive tapenade to draw out the olive oil. The result is a quick, briny sauce that is fantastic drizzled on smoked fish, roasted vegetables or a sandwich layered with spicy cured meats. Slideshow: More Trout Recipes
Smoked, grilled or sautéed, trout is a healthy and delicious fish worth adding into your dinner rotation. Every single one of these recipes—trout amandine with creamy spinach, smoked-trout-and-caper-cream-cheese toasts, matzo meal-crusted trout, amongst others—take advantage of the fish's health benefits and its one-of-a-kind taste to create unique dishes.