Lean Protein

Pan Seared Trout

Fall Telluride

I had a great first day back in Telluride with my little guy. Town is quiet. Very quiet and wonderful. The summer has wrapped, the ski season starts at the end of November. It is a gap time for visitors but the locals finally have the place to themselves.

Even though I spend a good part of the year in SoCal, I like to consider myself a local here. We are tax payers, so I guess that qualifies us residents or “part-timers.” We spend more time in Telluride as the years go on. The goal this trip was to view the changing leaves but we caught them at the tail end.

More leaves are on the ground then on the trees, there are still some yellow leaves clinging to the Aspens. There are snowy peaks in the distance. It is beautiful, it is Telluride.

Fall Leaves

My son so far has been a charmer. He keeps giving me hugs and telling me he is happy. That makes me very…happy!


Tonight he got bonus points as he ohhhed and ahhhed over his Pan Seared Trout and whole wheat pasta with my Zesty Puttanesca Sauce. The guy is 2 years old and he is developing a palate for clean, healthy foods. Makes me proud!

He earned a big pancake breakfast in the morning! If he keeps charming me he’ll also score a gingerbread cookie at Between the Covers or Baked in Telluride during the afternoon coffee break.

Fish Choices:

One of the best things that happened in Telluride was acquiring a kitchen to use on our visits. I love the local farmer’s market and unique choices in the stores. It is so awesome to spend a great day hiking or skiing and have the ability to craft a fresh, fabulous meal! It was on one of our trips a few years ago that I discovered Steelhead Trout and I have been hooked ever since.

The most common varieties of Trout you’ll find in the markets are Steelhead and Rainbow. Oddly enough Rainbow Trout has white flesh (not brightly hued) and the Steelhead has a beautiful pink color. The Steelhead also has a fuller flavor than the Rainbow. It cooks up fast and delicious. You do not need much more than garlic, salt, and pepper to season, as it has so much of it’s own flavor.

I am a fan of most fish, but for pan searing it is nice to use a strong flavored fish with the skin left on. I know the “skin on” thing freaks certain people out. My mother in law was spooked last winter when she saw me munching on it.

I tried to convince her it is the best part. That only freaked her out more! The crispy skin adds a huge dimension of flavor and texture. My favorite fish choices to pan sear include Salmon, Artic Char, Trout and Black Cod. The larger amounts of natural fats in these fish create a very crispy exterior and flaky, moist interior.

Even if you opt out of eating the skin, cook with it on for the flavor and peel it off when it is done cooking.

Seafood and your Health

We need to be mindful of the seafood we consume. Certain choices are better than others for our bodies and the environment. For loads of information on everything seafood please visit the following website:

The Monterey Bay Aquarium

The following link will provide you with a up to date Seafood Watch to help you make educated choices when shopping for seafood:

Seafood Watch

Trout in Pan

Pan Seared Trout

This couldn’t be a more simple dish to prepare. Just make sure your pan is really hot when you slap the fish down. If the pan isn’t hot enough you won’t get the crispy results you are looking for. The idea behind a pan sear is a crispy outside with a moist, flaky inside.

Serves 4-6 depending on quantity cooked

1 to 2 lbs. Steelhead Trout (or whichever fish you prefer)

Light coat of any high temperature oil (The fish choices mentioned above are all rich in natural oils so you don’t need much in your pan.)

Sprinkle of Garlic Powder

Sprinkle Dried Parsley

Salt and Pepper to taste

Any other Spice you desire, I love my Smoked Paprika

  1. Coat medium size saute pan with thin layer of oil.
  2. Pre-Heat pan on Medium High
  3. Season fish on both sides with Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder and any other seasonings.
  4. Put fish in pan skin side down. Be prepared to cover loosely as it will splatter.
  5. Cook skin side down about 4 minutes or until skin is nice and crispy.
  6. Flip briefly, about a minute or two to lightly brown the top.
  7. Don’t over cook if you want to maintain a moist, pink center.
  8. Serve immediately, so skin stays crispy and fish doesn’t overcook.


Fresh Variations:

Have fun with your spices! Some suggestions include:

Tumeric: Adds a beautiful yellow color.

Curry blend: for an Indian Twist and yellow color

Masala Spice blend: for an Indian Twist and red color

Chinese 5 Spice: This blend which includes Cinnamon adds a good Asian twist.

Mint and Lemon Juice: for a taste of the Mediterranean

~ Marla Meridith

Join the Conversation

3 thoughts on “Pan Seared Trout

  1. I love the taste of smaller, white rainbow trout, especially if it is fresh caught (coming from Serbia, where you can usually eat the fresh catch, I am somewhat spoiled:)
    Steelhead trout is very flavorful and we enjoy it frequently (our local Persian store carries it often, and as I befriended the butchers (a must as soon as we moved from Ohio).
    I love your ideas of a Master Recipe and various embellishments – so easy to apply and add variety.
    We were together at Camp Blogaway and BlogHer Food, and we really never had a chance to talk. And we both live in SoCal:) One day, I am sure our paths will intersect in a more meaningful manner:)