Eating Steelhead trout for the first time sparked an instant love in me.
I had it first at one of our favorite restaurants. Chef Carlos told me it was just like salmon. He knows because he detests salmon and therefore was probably not thrilled with cooking it.
But it was delicious to me.
Steelhead trout is in the same member of the Salmonid family which also includes certain cold water trouts including coastal rainbow trout which is what a Steelhead is. Also, a fun food fact is that the Steelhead is the official state fish of Washington.
It is rich and buttery like salmon, and I may actually like it just as much, if not better than salmon.
We also recently ate at a local restaurant near our home called Tommy’s Italian American Grill and I have fallen in love with their Pecan Encrusted Salmon.
Steelhead trout has popped up in our markets here and I thought I’d make a stab at replicating Tommy’s recipe. Except Tommy’s has a champagne beurre blanc sauce and I opted that out because we were trying to be healthy and …well…butter is the base of it and butter doesn’t really go well with my tummy area .
While not exactly like Tommy’s (I always have to add something a tad spicy these days), it is pretty doggone good if I do say so myself. And…
First off, mix up the topping. I used one cup of chopped pecans, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper and some salt and cracked black pepper.
If you wanted to be really bad, you could melt some butter (1/4-1/2 cup) and mix it in with this stuff, which would be absolutely heavenly. However, I was trying to be reasonably healthy and opted not to and it was still fantastic. We used an olive oil spritzer to mist the top of ours.
Take your trout filets (we cut ours somewhere around 6-8 ounces each) and drizzle a bit of olive oil into a skillet and get it pretty hot. As in, turn up the burner on your stove to high. This will guarantee your nice crispy skin. Place the fish skin-side down in the skillet and then press each fish fillet with the pecan mixture. You might want to use a large spoon for this and not live dangerously like I did with my hands. (I have the burn marks to show how stupid I am from various other times!).
Don’t worry about any that falls into the pan as it becomes yummy goodness to scrape out later!
Sear this on high heat for about 2-3 minutes then transfer the skillet to a 400º oven for 8-10 minutes.
The top should be slightly browned.
Oh man, was this fantastic.
We served it with some sauteed spinach and a garden fresh tomato-cucumber salad with some of the pesto buttermilk dressing we made a few nights back.
It was absolutely fantastic.
- 4 (6-8 oz) steelhead trout or salmon filets, skin on
- 2 T. olive oil
- 1 c. chopped pecans
- ¼ c. brown sugar
- ½ c. Panko bread crumbs or almond meal
- ½ t. garlic powder
- ½ t. salt
- ¼ t. cayenne pepper
- ¼ t. ground black pepper
- ½ c. melted butter (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400º
- Mix all ingredients but fish together in bowl to make topping
- Drizzle olive oil in oven safe large skillet and heat up over high heat on stove.
- Add fish, skin side down then using a large spoon, spoon a generous helping of nut mixture over top each filet. Press down with your hand or back of spoon onto entire top of filet. Don't worry about stray nut mixture falling into pan. It's really good to scrape out later.
- Sear for about 3-4 minutes on stove and then transfer to a shelf placed in your oven in the top third of the oven.
- Bake 8-10 minutes or until top of nuts begins to brown in places.
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