In Virginia people are very proud of our freshwater trout that love to thrive in the cold mountain streams in the West of the state, and our crabs that do so well in the waters of the Chesapeake bay on the Coast. This dish lets you put both of those together to make something that’s quite special. You’ll want to get head on trout filets for this as they’re the freshest and come out looking the best. If you can’t stand to have the head on its fine to get head-off filets, some people don’t like to look a fish in the eye before they eat it! The stuffing here will keep the trout nice and moist, but if you can’t find or can’t eat crab, you could do it just as well with a spinach and artichoke stuffing, or with some lemon, fennel, and red onion, there are lots of options.

For the crab stuffing: Serves 4

>8oz cream cheese, left out for an hour or two to soften, or warmed in a microwave for 30 seconds
>1 cup sour cream
>1 tsp celery salt
>1 tsp garlic powder
>1 tsp paprika
>1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
>1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
>8 oz special or claw crab meat, you dont need to get expensive lump crab meat for this
>1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
>1 4 oz jar diced pimentos, drained
>6-8 green onions, chopped
>Juice of half a lemon

For the trout
>4 6 Oz butterflied trout filets, boned, head on
butter flavored cooking spray

1Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Combine the cream cheese, parmesan and sour cream. Fold in the green onions and pimentos and the dry seasonings. Finally, add the crab meat, sprinkle with fresh lemon juice, and fold in gently so as not to break up the crab. This recipe will make more than you need for the trout so you’ll have some left for a great appetizer to go with the meal. If you have some toasted baguette slices or bagel chips around, or even a bread bowl made from a hollowed out boule loaf.

2If you mean to use the dip as an appetizer, heat it in a small glass or porcelain roasting dish for 10-15 minutes, topping with a bit of extra parmesan and then broiling it for one or two minutes at the end and serve with some crostini toasted bread or good hearty crackers. As for the trout;

3Spray down a baking sheet with the butter flavored pan spray and fan the trout out on it. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and spoon in about 1-2 tablespoons of heated crab dip on one side of each filet and fold over. Spray the top of the folded trout with the butter spray and roast for 10-15 minutes until the trout is flaky and the stuffing is piping hot.

 

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