Trout Season, Fiddleheads and Grills
Spring in New England means many different things to the residents that have endured and, hopefully, enjoyed the long winter. At least to myself and many friends and acquaintances, one of those long awaited events that spring brings is the opening day of trout season. The streams, rivers and lakes can still be ice cold and the weather inclement at best. However, it’s not always so much about catching fish as just dusting off the rods and reels, changing mental gears, spending time with the family and enjoying the beginning of the glorious spring season. Whether you fish or not, opening day is an important ritual for all. It’s a piece of New England culture and it’s a day that signifies what’s here and what’s to come.
Also, while walking the banks in search of fish for dinner, don’t forget to look around for another New England tradition…....fiddleheads.
Grilled Trout with Fiddleheads and Cabot Cheddar
Two trout fillets, 7 to 9 oz each
8 garlic cloves
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Cabot Cracker Cuts, 6 pieces of your choice
2 tablespoons Cabot butter
Prepare your grill or an open fire with a grate.
For the fiddleheads, I like to par cook them a little by boiling for a few minutes. This helps to further clean them as well as get a jump-start on the cooking process. Bring water to boil in a small saucepan or pot to a boil. Add the fiddleheads and lower to heat to low boil and let cook for 5 minute or so. Drain in a colander and set aside.
Place the trout fillets on a plate and sprinkle or “rub” the flesh side of trout with the seasoning. It doesn’t have to be heavily coated just a nice dusting. Set aside.
Set a cast iron or heavy bottom sauté pan on the grill you will be cooking the trout. Lightly coat the bottom on the pan with olive oil and the Cabot butter. Add the par-cooked fiddleheads, the garlic cloves and the lemon wedges and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the trout, skin side down, on the grill next to the pan over the hot part of the grill or near the direct heat of the fire. Cook the trout for a few minutes with the skin side down then, very carefully, using a spatula flip the trout to flesh side down. Cook for a few more minutes and make sure the fiddleheads in the pan are cooking and stir occasionally. When the trout is done, using the spatula, flip the trout back to skin side down.
Divide the fiddleheads evenly between the two trout, placing on one side of each fillet. Add three or four of the cracker cuts on top of the fiddleheads and very carefully fold the trout to cover the fiddleheads and cheese. Remove to a plate and garnish with the grilled lemons
Remove to a plate and garnish with the grilled lemons. Serve with cole slaw, green salad or your favorite side dish. Enjoy!