Preparation / Directions:
As every angler knows, skillet-size brook, brown, and rainbow trout are never more tasty than when prepared this way. Can there be any tastier dish than the one that comes from this happy marriage of fresh trout and butter? But for best results, a few words of warning: a basic rule of fish cookery is that fish, unless deep fried, should be cooked slowly. Yet, at the same time, one wants the flesh moist but with the outside golden brown.
Furthermore one wants to be able to serve trout whole, not in broken chunks, the result of sticking. One other word: since trout are delicately flavored, I do not "flour" trout with cornmeal but with flour. However, either way, the trout will be delicious. Salt, pepper and coat the trout by rolling them in the flour. Melt the butter in a big iron skillet.
When the butter is hot (over medium heat) but has not yet shown color, lay in the trout and turn the fire low. A steady, low heat will do two things: cook the trout slowly and at the same time brown the trout. You must police the process continuously, and it will take 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the trout.
Just as soon as the flour coating has set on the down side, loosen each trout from the skillet, shaking the skillet gently to keep the slow browning trout free. After 10 minutes of slow browning, turn each trout carefully and repeat the above process. When you serve the trout, pour a bit of the butter over each and garnish with a sprig of parsley and a wedge of lemon.
SAUTÉED QUICK MEUNIERE
If you wish, add a couple of pats of butter to the skillet after the trout has been served, melt them, squeeze in a tablespoon of lemon juice, turn up the heat, and stir. Then pour this lemon-butter sauce over each trout.