Mention the state of Idaho, and a foodie's thoughts might automatically flash to Russet potatoes — after all, the potato is even touted on the state license plate.
But, did you know that Idaho's cold, clear waterways offer a prime habitat for rainbow trout?
The rainbow prefers clear, flowing water ranging from 52 to 68 degrees, and so the rainbow is a prime sport fish for both trout and fly fishermen in Idaho.
Given the snow-fed waterways that Idaho has been blessed with, it's probably no surprise that, of the 53 million pounds of commercially grown trout raised for food in the U.S., over 70 percent of that amount comes from Idaho. In fact, one valley in southern Idaho is home to the majority of commercial aquaculture ventures in the state. Snow-melt churns through layers of volcanic rock and, at a constant 58 degrees Fahrenheit, spills from a wall of the Snake Canyon to provide the chilly, oxygenated flow the trout require.
And don't worry about your waistline! Trout can star in a healthy lifestyle with its low-fat and low-sodium qualities. As a prime source of protein with little caloric baggage, trout contains high amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids, which help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Trout also contributes a nutritional boost with vitamin B-12, manganese, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, phosphorus, and selenium.
But the truth is circumscribed within a tastebud: rainbow trout offer a delicate, light flavor. This versatility works well when trout is served with stuffing or a sauce, and especially with the delicate flavor of almonds.
3⁄4 cup (3oz) sliced (flaked) almonds 4 trout fillets, with skin intact
1 cup all-purpose (plain) flour
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 F . Spread the almonds in a baking pan and toast until they turn light golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a plate. Set aside.
To prevent the fillets from curling up while cooking, score the skin side with 2 shallow crisscross cuts.
In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, paprika, 1-tablespoon salt and 1-teaspoon pepper. Stir with a fork to blend well. Dredge the fillets in the seasoned flour.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, and then add 1 tablespoon of the butter with 1 tablespoon of the oil. When the butter foam begins to subside, shake the excess flour from 2 of the fillets and put them in the pan, skin side up. Sauté until they are golden on the bottom, about 1 minute. Using a wide spatula, carefully turn the fillets and cook until golden on the other side and opaque throughout, about 2 minutes. Place the fish on a warmed platter and cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Wipe the pan clean with paper towels and repeat to cook the remaining fillets.
When all the fillets have been cooked, clean the pan again. Over medium heat, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. When the butter foam subsides, add the almonds and sauté for 30 seconds, then add the lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, and a pinch of salt. Swirl the sauce around in the pan and pour over the trout fillets. Garnish with the parsley and serve immediately.
Lighthouse Seafood is a family business, owned and operated by Tim and Heather O'Leary.
They have supplied Central Florida restaurants and residents with prime seafood for more than a decade.
Their commitment is to always have only the freshest seafood for your table.
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