Hemingway's Trout

January 4, 2010
Hemingway's Trout

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: This was a regular fixture in my family’s dinner rotation when I was a kid. I thought my mother, an English Professor, was the author, but searching on the web, I see there are dozens of iterations. I've tinkered with the recipe over the years, and have even cooked it over an open fire on a fishing trip. It's simple and satisfying. I like to serve this fish with bitter garlicky greens, like mustard or collard, and hashbrowns or oven roasted potatoes. And a Mojito, of course.MrsWheelbarrow

Serves: 2


  • 2 whole trout, bone in or boned, head on or off
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 pieces thick cut smoked bacon
  • 1 lemon, thin sliced in 1/2 moons
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup fine ground cornmeal of excellent quality
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • salt & pepper
In This Recipe


  1. Soak fish in buttermilk for an hour. This is not necessary if your fish are very fresh, as in just-caught.
  2. In a large cast iron skillet, render the bacon over low heat until it is about 1/2 cooked. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels.
  3. On a plate, or in a shallow dish, stir together the cornmeal, flour, cayenne and a healthy pinch of salt.
  4. Remove the fish from the buttermilk and set on a work surface. Divide the lemon slices and place half inside the cavity of each fish, overlapping the slices, and then sprinkling with parsley, salt and pepper.
  5. Wrap a slice of partially cooked bacon around each fish. Roll the fish in the cornmeal mixture.
  6. Heat the bacon fat up again until it is very hot. Slip in the fish and cook 4-6 minutes per side, or until crisp and cooked through. The time will need to be adjusted depending on whether the fish is boned.

More Great Recipes:
Bacon|Buttermilk|Cornmeal|Parsley|Seafood|Trout|Cast Iron|Spring|Summer|Entree

Reviews (5) Questions (0)

5 Reviews

Angela @. May 27, 2011
Trout and bacon, I had no idea. Made this the other night and my clumsy fingers didn’t do a very good job of wrapping the bacon around the fish but we loved the flavor. Next time I think I’ll cook the bacon until crisp and crumble it on top of the cooked trout … lazy me.
Author Comment
MrsWheelbarrow May 27, 2011
Glad you liked it!
Sodium G. January 6, 2010
I've never had trout and bacon. For a low sodium version, I think I'll try this and substitute some really fatty part of the pork, like the belly, for some bacon and dust it with smoked paprika and chipotle powder. Thanks for the inspiration!
EmilyNunn January 6, 2010
This makes me want to start a trout farm. Or a trout university.
lastnightsdinner January 4, 2010
Trout and bacon are such a classic combo, and this sounds like a fabulous take!