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Food
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Kitchen Mailbox Countdown to Dinner Dining
Tasty recipe a reel catch

Thursday, April 29, 1999

 

April is trout season. Local streams, which have been stocked with this delicate-tasting fish for weeks, are the destination for anglers who are pulling 'em in right and left.

The rest of us -- Gary Gates from Shadyside, for example -- reel in our catch at Wholey's in the Strip or a supermarket with a fresh fish counter.

Wherever it comes from, Gates' original recipe for Baked Stuffed Trout is a fast and delicious way to serve it.

A 37-year-old doctoral student at the Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University, Gates loves to cook and does a lot of it.

The Johnstown native picked up his skill from television.

"I watched cooking shows and that's where I learned most of my stuff," he said. "Now I do dinners and dinner parties." Which is how his trout recipe evolved.

We made it for Countdown and invited friends who had eaten at Monterey Bay Fish Grotto the night before to sample the entree.

"Excellent" said one. "Flavorful and moist," said another. We reached for seconds.

The stuffing calls for lots of paprika because Gates loves it. However, he cautions cooks less enamored of the spice to use it to taste.

We asked the fish department at Giant Eagle at Edgewood Towne Centre to cut off the heads of our trout. The whole fish seemed more than we wanted on our dinner plate.

Gates understood this squeamishness. "People can't deal with the eye," he said. "When I make a whole salmon, I use half a cherry tomato for the eye."

Before serving the trout, Gates pulls off the top skin, leaving the bottom skin intact, because "it's easier to eat that way."

Like a seasoned chef, he recommends accompanying it with "rice or couscous for a starch, and an uncluttered steamed vegetable, like broccoli, or green beans with a little vinaigrette."

-- Tested by Nancy Anderson

Stuffed Whole Trout

4 whole trout, cleaned
4 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, diced
1 cup bread crumbs, plain or sea- soned
2 teaspoons paprika
1 tablespoon fresh thyme (1 tea- spoon dried)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Sauté onion in butter until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. In a small bowl, mix bread crumbs, paprika and thyme.

Add to sautéed butter and onions until the mixture is the consistency you like.

Open trout. Salt and pepper to taste. Spread bread crumb mixture inside the trout -- be careful not to overstuff. Fold trout over and bake uncovered in greased shallow pan for approximately 15-20 minutes.

Garnish with fresh lemon wedges. Makes 4 servings.

Do you have an entrée, salad or vegetable side dish recipe (no desserts, please!) that can be made in 30 minutes or less from six ingredients or fewer (not counting water, salt and pepper)? Share it with Countdown to Dinner.

The PG tests all recipes and if we select your recipe for publication, you'll receive a free selection from our cookbook grab bag of current releases.

Send your recipe to Countdown to Dinner, Post-Gazette Food, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or fax to 412-263-1313. Please include your name, neighborhood and daytime phone number. Or e-mail to:nanderson@post-gazette.com Questions? Call 412-263-1760.

Do you have an entree, salad or vegetable side dish recipe (no desserts, please!) that can be made in 30 minutes or less from six ingredients or fewer(not counting water, salt and pepper) Share it with Countdown to Dinner.

The PG tests all recipes and if we select your recipe for publication, you'll receive a free selection from our cookbook grab bag of current releases.

Send your recipe to Countdown to Dinner, Post-Gazette Food, 34 Blvd. of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15222, or fax to 412-263-1313. Please include your name, neighborhood and daytime phone number. Or e-mail to: nanderson@Post-Gazette.com. Questions? Call 412-263-1760.



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