Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Grilled trout in the park

This year, San Francisco Fleet Week falls on R. and my birthday weekend. The planned party on Angel Island  is out of the question. I had these parties a few times now, and every time we were lucky to catch the weekend before the Fleet Week. Friends had no trouble to get to the island, by boat, ferry, or even jet ski, and as an added bonus, we got to see the rehersal of the air show! This time, there will be crowds on land and on the water.

So the birthday party has to be elsewhere, but we decided to go to Angel Island anyway, and planned for this last Saturday. The morning of the trip, Y., who lives overlooking the Bay, called everyone and told us that the fog is entering, and Angel Island is covered already. Change of plans again.

One place that I know that the fog never reaches is China Camp park (in San Rafael, just across the highway from where I live), and I promptly suggested that we go there. By the time we were done calling back and forth trying to figure out where to go, most of San Francisco Bay, the Peninsula, and Southern Marin were covered with fog, so everyone was happy with my suggestion.
Supermarket farmed trout is a highly underappreciated fish. It's one of the few farmed fishes that actually taste good (farmed sturgeon is my second favorite), has few bones, looks great, and doesn't cost anything.
We paid $17 for this happy family of 6 fresh dressed trouts! Bright eyes, shiny skins, serves one each.

Season them inside and out with salt and fresh ground pepper, stick a rosemary branch, a sprig of thyme, and two-three slices of lemon inside, tie them with the kitchen twine to hold the herbs and lemon in, all the while keeping the bees out. Bees smell the fish from far away, and come to get a taste. Here, R. is fending the bees off with a paper towel, while I prepare the fish for the grill.

Brush the fish with olive oil. Grill over hot charcoals until the flesh flakes, about 6 minutes per side.

As an afterthought, we grilled a flat iron steak with cajun seasoning, and some corn on the cob.

Season the steak with Weber Cajun seasoning in both sides; grill, turning once, to internal temperature of 135 degrees for medium rare. Do not overcook: flat iron steak turns very tough if cooked beyond medium. Let rest 5-7 minutes, or as long as you can wait. Slice thinly against the grain. Serve with mustard.

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