I love grilling. Or, more accurately, I love finding amazing-looking grill recipes and telling my sweetheart to grill them. Summer is such a perfect time to get out and have your sweetheart grill everything you can think of -- veggies, meats, pineapple, peaches, fish, pizza... or bacon-wrapped trout. Bacon and trout go surprisingly well together. Maybe not surprisingly: Bacon? Delicious. Trout? Delicious. Grilled together with some fresh herbs, this is a winner of a combo.
The last Saveur magazine I got was dedicated to BBQ. That's where I first saw the idea for grilled trout, wrapped with bacon. Mmmm. That recipe called for using a stove-top smoker. Who has a stove-top smoker?! Invite me over. The second place I saw this was in Pete Evan's book, My Grill: Outdoor Cooking Australian Style. Australian style? It's clearly my style, too -- and this book is a keeper. Pete wraps his trout in thinly cut prosciutto. You could try that instead of bacon.
Here's our version, perfect for home-grillers. No special equipment needed. Beginner-grill-skill-level-friendly.
Grilled, Bacon-Wrapped Trout
Serves 2 -4 (Depending on if you eat one whole trout or more -- count on at least one per person)
4 butterflied trout (if it is not already butterflied, you can probably request this at your fish counter)
8 pieces thinly-sliced bacon (choose a bacon that is not flavored or smoked)
Springs of thyme
Sprigs of marjoram (optional)
Olive Oil or Butter (to drizzle inside the trout and to coat the grill)
Salt and pepper
1. For a gas grill, heat your grill 5 or 10 minutes before putting the fish on. For charcoal, get your coals ready.
2. Wash the fish by holding them under running water. Pat dry and lay the fish open in a baking pan.
3. Sprinkle the inside of each fish with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil or butter.
4. Place several springs of herbs inside each fish and close each fish.
5. Wrap the bacon around each fish: Lay two strips of bacon the longways on a cutting board, an inch or so apart. Put a fish perpendicular on top of the bottom of the bacon. Grab the fish and bacon and roll the fish, wrapping the bacon around it as you roll. Avoid doubling over the bacon by adjusting the direction of the bacon over the fish. It's ok if the bacon doesn't completely cover the fish. See photos below. If you'd like, you can secure the bacon onto the fish with toothpicks, but this is not necessary (and we didn't do it).
5. Turn your gas grill down to medium/low, brush grill with oil and cook the bacon-wrapped fish for 5-6 minutes on each side with the lid closed. If you are using a charcoal grill, cook the fish on indirect heat for about 5-6 minutes, covered. Crisp over high heat afterward, if desired.
6. Remove from heat and serve immediately. The trout should not have a lot of bones, but do be aware. Some people I know (ahem) eat the trout, skin and all -- if that's not your style, open up the trout and eat the meat, cutting pieces of bacon to join the flavors.
While you are grilling, why not throw on some corn or other veggies (mushrooms are especially nice) to have along side your trout?