I was planning on making a whole fish baked in salt, but I guess I didn't make myself clear to the fish monger because when I got home I found he had scaled the fish. The fish needs scales for the salt bake.
This gave me the opertunity to use the Julia Child's cookbook I borrowed from my mother. Whit what I had on hand I was able to make the simplest whole trout recipe in the book. I've never cooked a whole trout before. Or clarified butter.
Here is the basic recipe:
Tuites Meuniere or Whole Trout Sauteed in Butter
whole trout with head and tail
salt and pepper
1/2 c. ghee or clarified butter
1/4 c. chopped parsley
Salt and pepper the fish inside and out. Sprinkle with flour, put in the pan of bubbling hot butter. Cook each side for 5 or 6 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley, Serve with lemon.
I had to clarify the butter, which is much easier after it has cooled down a bit from melting. Then I just threw it in the pan and let it do its thing. I used too much heat at first, and the butter over browned.and when I tried to look at the underside the skin started to shen. When I flipped it with my fancy fish spatula (that I never really used before) the fish's cheek and eyeball stuck to the pan. I was not a pretty presentation.
It wasn't for me. It was for my fish fan husband. I suppose if I had caught and cleaned it (which I have done) I would have been more willing to eat it, but ensconced in my urban setting I was happy to let him have the whole thing.