RECIPE

Mutti’s Pan Fried Troutlings

When I was a kid, this was the first dish my grandmother taught me to cook. We would make it with trout that I caught in the stream that runs by our house: hence troutlings, because regardless of how big my first fish loom in my memory, Mutti never lets me forget they were really cigarsize. Ideally this dish is prepared with a whole bunch of tiny spring troutlings (6-7 inches long), served family-style and eaten with your fingers. Otherwise, use the smallest trout you can find. If the fish are small enough, refry the bones and eat them as crispy little treats.

Ingredients

  • 4 whole brook troutlings (smallest available), gutted, gills removed
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 4 tablespoons capers, divided
  • Lemon halves
  • Fresh parsley, coarsely chopped

Preparation

Season each troutling with salt and pepper on all sides and inside the cavities as well, then dust with the flour.

Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a cast iron pan over medium-high heat until it begins to brown, then add 1 trout and pan fry on all sides until golden brown, 5-7 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. Just before removing the fish from the pan, toss in 1 tablespoon capers and a healthy squeeze of lemon juice.

Transfer the fish to paper towels. Wipe out the pan and repeat until you’ve pan fried all the trout. I like to serve the fish family-style on a platter with a sprinkling of chopped parsley.

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