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Published on: May. 16, 2013

a particular day.

“I have seen the most amazing things while fishing — an eagle and an osprey fighting in midair over a fish; a guy running upstream because he just saw a bear cross the river; and three or four eagles soaring against the bluffs. It’s all wonderful!”


Fire up the grill on one of those hot summer days, when tomatoes and basil are abundant at the farmers market or in your garden. Locally cured bacon makes this dish superb.

Serves 2 to 4

  • 2 whole trout (cleaned, boned, and butterflied)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 medium red, dead-ripe tomato, sliced
  • 8 large fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 4 slices bacon

Rinse well both sides of fish and pat dry with a paper towel. On a baking sheet, place fish skin-side down, opening them flat like a book. Drizzle a teaspoon or so of olive oil over flesh of trout and rub in the oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place two slices of tomato on one half of the trout, topping each slice with two basil leaves. Sprinkle the length of the trout with 1 tablespoon cheese.

Fold unadorned side of the fish over the other side and wrap the whole fish in a spiral fashion with bacon; two bacon slices secure a medium-sized trout nicely. Repeat procedure with the other fish. Grill or broil in oven until bacon begins to crisp and trout is cooked through.

Side dishes that accompany nicely include fresh whole new potatoes; corn on the cob; green beans; cucumber, onion and sweet red-pepper rings in an herby vinaigrette; and crusty white bread. A glass of Pinot Grigio or Pinot Bianco doesn’t hurt either.

Canadian Cooking Theory

I swear by the Canadian Cooking Theory for cooking fish, and have used it all my cooking life to determine when fish are done. First publicized by the Department of Fisheries of Canada, the basic principle is that fish can be cooked, no matter how, at 10 minutes per inch. The technique works with whole fish, steaks and fillets, and it applies to baking, braising, broiling, frying, poaching, sautéing, grilling, steaming, and any other cooking method you can dream of. Measure your portion of fish at its thickest part (its depth, not across the fish), and calculate 10 minutes

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