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
thick cut smoked bacon
lemon, thin sliced in 1/2 moons
chopped Italian parsley
all purpose flour
fine ground cornmeal of excellent quality
salt & pepper
In This Recipe
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.