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Best Dressed Trout

by Jane Worthington-Roth

It’s almost fishing season here in the Berkshires; fish and game clubs are getting ready to stock the rivers and lakes. Although my favorite way to cook fish is to simply grill it whole, I’m always looking for imaginative ways to serve seafood, especially to company who might not enjoy working their way through a whole fin-to-tail fish.

This recipe combines trout, bay scallops and Ritz Crackers into a phenomenally flavorful and easy to prepare dish, perfect for company. Don’t be tempted to substitute other crackers or breadcrumbs for the Ritz®, as it lends a salty-sweet flavor to the mix which is offset by the earthiness of the powdered rosemary. If you can only find whole trout, ask your fishmonger to fillet it for you, leaving the skin on. Each trout (two filets) serves one person.

Best Dressed Trout

2 trout, filleted - with skin still on
Extra virgin olive oil
½ cup diced onion
2 celery ribs, diced
½ pound small bay scallops, coarsely chopped
1 “sleeve” of Ritz® Crackers (about 28 crackers)
½ teaspoon powdered rosemary (or powdered sage)
½ teaspoon garlic salt
Black pepper
Pink peppercorns, optional
Lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat a little oil in a frying pan and sauté the onions and celery until translucent, but not browned. Set aside to cool.

In a small ziplock bag, crush the Ritz® Crackers.

In a large bowl, combine the chopped scallops, onions and celery, Ritz® Crackers, rosemary, garlic salt and a little freshly ground black pepper. Be sure to include any liquid that may have accumulated with the scallops, but if the mixture seems dry, add up to a tablespoon of water. If you’d like, you can also add a half-teaspoon of finely crushed pink peppercorns.

Line a baking sheet with non-stick foil and coat with a little oil. Lay out the trout filets, skin side down, leaving about 2 inches of room between them.

Mound the scallop mixture onto the trout in an even layer. This should totally cover the filets.

Spray a little olive oil cooking spray on top, and bake for 20 minutes until nicely browned. Serve with a lemon wedge on the side. I like to serve the trout with fresh spinach, sautéed with a little garlic.