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
whole trout, bone in or boned, head on or off
pieces thick cut smoked bacon
lemon, thin sliced in 1/2 moons
tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
tablespoons all purpose flour
cup fine ground cornmeal of excellent quality
salt & pepper
- Soak fish in buttermilk for an hour. This is not necessary if your fish are very fresh, as in just-caught.
- 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.
- On a plate, or in a shallow dish, stir together the cornmeal, flour, cayenne and a healthy pinch of salt.
- 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.
- Wrap a slice of partially cooked bacon around each fish. Roll the fish in the cornmeal mixture.
- 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.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Way to Cook a Whole Fish