Recipe by Three Forks Grille | Photography by JMK PhotographyRainbow trout is about as ubiquitous as bison on Montana menus, and Three Forks Grille’s is no exception. We have featured trout on our menus since the beginning and it has remained one of the most popular items we serve. Spring brings the fishing season and, with it, all across Montana anglers eagerly await their elusive quarry. Here we give you three methods of cooking rainbow trout. Happy fishing and enjoy!
Hot Smoked Trout Serves 2
2 trout filets: cleaned and patted dry
Apple smoking chips
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon of canola oil
1. Smoker set-up (if using an outdoor grill). Preheat the grill. If gas, only light one burner. If charcoal, wait until the coals are burning white.
2. Once hot, create a small container with aluminum foil. Put about two cups of wood chips. Place them on the inside of the foil container and place directly on heating element or coals.
3. Once smoking, lay trout away from direct heat and cover with the lid. You want to deliver as much smoke as possible without cooking the trout too quickly.
4. The whole smoking process should take about 20 minutes to complete.
5. The fish will be firm and opaque with a nice smoky hue to it. Once cool, remove skin and shred the meat.
At Three Forks Grille, we toss the trout with our Caesar salad.
Pan Fried Trout with Salsa Verde Serves 2
2 cleaned and dried trout filets
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
1 tablespoon butter
Ingredients for salsa verde
1/2 cup basil
1 cup parsley
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1/4 cup capers
3 anchovy filets
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 cloves minced garlic
1. Season fish with salt and pepper.
2. Heat sauté pan and add butter.
3. Once butter is frothy and bubbly, add filets, flesh side down.
4. Sauté for four minutes.
5. Flip fish over and increase heat a little to crisp the skin up.
6. Sauté four minutes longer or until the fish is done.
7. Place all salsa verde ingredients in a food processor, except olive oil.
Marinated and Grilled Rainbow Trout Serves 2
2 trout filets, cleaned and dried
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
1 tablespoon parsley
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and fresh black pepper
1. Heat grill.
2. Season fish with salt and pepper.
3. Rub with the olive oil.
4. Sprinkle with thyme and parsley.
5. Marinate for 20 minutes.
6. Rub grill grates with an oil-saturated paper towel.
7 .Lay filets meat side down on grill.
8. Do not disturb fish for five minutes.
9. Flip files and cook skin-side down for five minutes longer.
10. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Three Forks Grille is located in downtown Columbia Falls, just a short distance from the wild and scenic three forks of the famed Flathead River. Head chef Chris DiMasio takes pride in his original dishes and recipes by using only the best local ingredients. He supports many local growers, something that is important to his mission. For more information, visit www. threeforksgrille.com.