Several varieties of trout thrive in Colorado’s icy mountain streams, but Ethan Emery, president of Angling University in Denver, says brook trout is his favorite to cook.
“Rainbow is good, and I’ve eaten a lot of them in my day, but they don’t compare to a brook trout,” he says. “Go find a stream that has brook trout, because they’re not only tasty, but they tend to be a little more gullible and easier to catch.”
While Emery teaches fly fishing and how to catch and release trout, he loves to eat them when it’s legal. He says that the simpler the preparation, the better.
On a backpacking trip two summers ago in the Rawah Wilderness, he caught several small brook trout as his dad and brother set up a tent and built a campfire. They cooked his bounty very simply in foil amid the coals. Here’s a slightly more civilized method.
- 4 whole brook trout, 10–12 inches long, cleaned (may substitute any freshwater trout)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter, cut into 4 pieces
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- 4 tablespoons Chardonnay
Preheat oven to 375˚F. Place each trout on an 18-inch sheet of aluminum foil. Lightly salt and pepper inside fish cavity and add piece of butter. Put lemon slice atop each fish. Loosely fold up sides of foil, drizzle 1 tablespoon of wine over each fish, and fold foil tightly to create closed pouch. Place pouches in baking dish. Cook 20 minutes, or until fish is flaky. Remove fish from foil. Serve atop bed of rice. Serves 4.
The distinctive but delicate character of a dry, light-bodied Riesling like Pey-Marin’s 2013 The Shell Mound matches similar qualities in the simply prepared trout. Fresh trout tastes light, pure and clean, and those terms also describe this cool-climate Riesling. Its aromas of pine and white peach lead to crisp, tangy, green-apple and peach-skin flavors that tingle the taste buds.