When Chicago friends told us they were coming to Sanibel, Florida, they also asked if we knew a professional guide to take us all fishing. We immediately thought of our friend Captain Bill Hammond of Endless Summer Charters!
It’s nice to let a pro take you to his best spots so you can catch great fish in his local waters, and Captain Bill didn’t disappoint. Even on the heels of a full moon, low tide, and a storm brewing offshore, we caught everything but the kitchen sink. Often, all four of us were hooked up at the same time! Redfish, Trout, Snook, Jacks, Flounder. . .you name it, we got it. Four hours of non-stop fishing — it was an exhilarating, beautiful, fun day on the water. Here’s a pic of me with Captain Bill and my nice Trout — one of my favorite fish to catch.
Spotted Sea Trout (also known as Speckled Trout) is a pretty fish and full of color. Its meat is delicate, sweet, light and flaky. Basically, it’s delicious.
We’ve all had (or at least heard of) the tasty dish called “Trout Amandine” — the fish is cooked in butter until crispy then topped with lemon and toasted/slivered almonds. For my dish, I wanted to capture flavors of that classic recipe, but add a little freshness, too. The crust that I topped the seared fish with combines breadcrumbs, basil, parsley, lemon, ground almonds and melted butter. It turned out to be a crunchy and tasty topping for this flaky Trout, but would also be good on just about any fresh fish. I served it with some yummy zucchini noodles (“zoodles” as they’re called these days) mixed with corn, tomatoes and basil – stay tuned for a future post!
My husband rated this dinner a 10 on the ‘Coudal Scale’. Enjoy!
- ¼ c. whole or slivered almonds, toasted & ground
- ½ c. fresh bread crumbs* (or Panko)
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 8-10 fresh basil leaves, minced
- Small handful of fresh parsley, minced
- 2 Tb. unsalted butter, melted (or 1 Tb. butter + 1 Tb. olive oil)
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- ⅛ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Trout fillets (or any white, flaky fish)
- 1 Tb. unsalted butter
- 1 Tb. olive oil
- Toss almonds into non-stick skillet and toast them on LOW heat until fragrant (approx. 5-6 mins.).
- Remove from stove top and allow to cool about 10 mins.
- Add almonds to food processor and pulse several times until you have a finely ground texture.
- Combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl.
- Heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Heat a non-stick/oven proof skillet to medium/high heat.
- Add butter and olive oil.
- Lightly sprinkle fillets with salt and pepper.
- Place fillets in hot skillet. Allow to sit about 2 minutes, until edges get crispy, then flip.
- Top each fillet with the herb mixture (really pack it on there!).
- Place the skillet in the oven and allow fish to finish cooking - about 2-3 minutes, so topping also browns.
- Remove from oven and serve.