Recently I dragged my spouse into Whole Foods Market, conveniently located next to one of my favorite beer/brunch places, Bier Garden in Encinitas, CA, to look for a protein to prepare for Sunday dinner. We agreed to head to the fish counter, which is always well stocked with a wide variety of fresh offerings from the sea.
Right in front of us was a chilled container brimming with fresh trout. Yes, please! We were both remembering days of living, and fishing, in Colorado.
When we were in our 20’s we lived in the mountains just west of Denver about an hour. Many Fridays after work we’d head up the mountain, stop by our work-in-progress home we were building, throw a few things in the car, then head to one of our favorite camping spots.
This particular spot was found by driving off the main highway to a couple of smaller roads to a rutted road through a herd of cattle, then deep into the pine trees. Only a few spots were here, nestled along a stream that would lull you to sleep at night, under the canopy of trees that shaded you during the day, and covered with pine needles from which made for a nice, soft cushion beneath our sleeping bags.
I loved the hand pump for the water, which was always crystal clear and super tasty. Of course, that went for most of the well water in the mountains. Even the well water at our home was crystal clear, tasty, and super-cold. With the addition of a little naturally occurring uranium (yep, I worked at a lab and had it tested).
Hal, the spouse, would head down to the wider part of the stream, throw in his line, and more likely than not pull out a brookie or two, or other trout, or stream salmon. Cooked in a large cast iron pan with a little oil and cornmeal and dinner is served, along with a few beers.
So we decided to prepare these fresh little trout two ways: simply stuffed with lemon slices and parsley with a little salt and pepper AND dredged in buttermilk and cornmeal, both thrown in a pan with a little oil, and finished in the oven. Maybe 7 minutes max and we have memories of camping in Colorado with the best that nature has to offer.
It was nice to recall the memories of Colorado and fresh-from-the-stream fish, along with a few beers, San Diego IPA style, of course. No silver bullet here! Ah, Sunday Funday!
Passport Dinners: taste the world, one box at a time