Friday, March 6, 2009

How to Bake Lake Trout / Mackinaw

Ever come back from a fishing trip not knowing what to do with the catch?

Around here the smaller fish get fried. I know - grease is terrible - but they sure taste good fried until the skins are crispy. We use safflower oil to keep it on the healthy side.

But what about the bigger fish? We bake them.

First, determine what kind of fish you have. A Mackinaw has a LOT of fat, and if you don't remove it, I guarantee your house will stink for a few days. You won't even want to eat the fish because you'll feel queasy from the smell.

The fat is located along the belly... you can see the whitish part that you need to remove. Then another layer rests along the top of the back. Carve that out too before you start to cook.

Next, soak the fish in milk for a few hours before baking. I don't know why that matters, but it does.

When you're ready to put it in the oven, pat it dry. Then salt and pepper the inside and add some goodies. A couple of strips of bacon, some chopped onion, and - if you like it - some chopped green pepper. You can also squirt in a bit of lemon juice.

Wrap the whole thing in foil and put it in the oven for about an hour at 360 degrees. If you want the skin to appear browned, remove the foil after about 45 minutes.

Since I don't know the size of your fish, I can't tell you if it will be done in an hour - so take a fork and test it after an hour. If it doesn't look done, leave it another 10-15 minutes and check again. The fish should flake away from the fork when you "pry."

Serve baked fish with lemon juice and/or tartar sauce.

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