So much for the best laid plans. As I write this recipe, my wife and I are winding down a four day “fishing” trip in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, south of Lake Tahoe. The main purpose of the outing was to put our 13-year old son, Jake, and his two buddies on some high mountain trout. Jake’s caught saltwater fish, big ones, on both coasts and plenty of freshwater fish in between, but he’s been dying to do some upper elevation trout fishing. We booked a cabin at Caples Lake after hearing tales of big fish limits. Just last week, they planted 1600 pounds of 5 to 10 pound trout!
You know what’s coming. We fished Blue Lakes, Woods Lake, Red Lake (which is actually green), Lost Lake, Caples Lake and every branch of the Carson River. How many? One fish. Now, I’m not claiming that there are no fish in these waters. A couple of old-timers in the cabin next door boated “25 or 30…we lost count”. Kids with Zebcos were catching trout with Power Bait and bobbers. It just wasn’t our time.
Fortunately, I always have a backup plan, so last night we had burgers. But if we had caught some fish, here’s what I would have prepared.
Serves 4 (in theory)
I like to toss my sliced fresh jalapeno peppers with sugar a day in advance. Let them sit at room temperature for a couple of hours and then refrigerate overnight. It adds an obvious sweetness to the spicy peppers.
High Mountain Trout
- 8 slices large ripe tomato
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 4 1- pound trout cleaned and dressed
- freshly squeezed lemon juice
- thinly sliced onion rings
- thinly sliced jalapeno peppers tossed with sugar as per the note above…or not
- cooked crumbled bacon
- 1 large avocado, thinly sliced
- shaved parmesan cheese
- For each serving, place 2 tomato slices side-by-side on a baking sheet. Sprinkle salt, pepper and a little olive oil over the tomato slices.
- Season trout with salt, pepper and olive oil. Grill, broil, bake or pan-fry until just done. Remove skeleton and place cooked fillets on tomato. Add a squeeze of lemon juice over trout and re-season with salt and pepper.
- Top trout with onion, jalapeno, bacon, avocado and cheese. Place under a broiler for 3 - 4 minutes to lightly brown cheese.