This week while researching rainbow trout for the 38 Power Foods blog group, I realized that some grocers and fishmongers don’t understand the —what appears to be folklore term— “salmon trout”. They call the pinkish to reddish colored fish by their proper names: rainbow trout, or steelhead trout, whereas, I have always known pinkish-reddish fish as salmon trout. I’ve learned, there is a slight but important difference between the two. Both rainbow trout and steelhead trout are the same species and are closely related to salmon, and both share a pink to reddish colored flesh. But the rainbow trout that leaves freshwater rivers to spend 2 to 3 years at sea before returning to fresh water to spawn, is called Steelhead trout. These fish are larger than rainbow trout and have a deeper red color, closer to that of salmon. Both Steelhead trout and rainbow trout taste close to salmon, but the last one has more of the trout undertones.
According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch , farmed rainbow trout and steelhead trout are a “best choice” based on abundance, well-managed environmentally friendly farming practices, and health benefits. These fish offer the important inflammation fighting omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic (EPA), and they are also loaded with B vitamins, niacin, and selenium. While rainbow trout and steelhead trout offer many of the same benefits as salmon, they are more affordable, and in most cases can be prepared in the same delicious ways.
About steelhead trout with bacon and rosemary: My family and I used to enjoy trout with bacon and loved it, but when we started to eat healthier that recipe went out the window due to the quantity of saturated fat. This week I had the idea of using turkey bacon, which contains 50% less fat than pork bacon, and has half the calories. It’s a healthier choice and it’s better for your healthy eating habits.
Servings: 4 to 6 Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: about 10 minutes
2 pounds steelhead trout (2 filets for a total of 2 pounds)
6 bay leaves
6 sprigs rosemary
4 slices turkey bacon
2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges
1. Preheat the oven to broil, and set an oven rack 5-½ to 6 inches below the broiler.
2. Wash the fish filets and then pat them dry.
3. Put the filets on a roasting pan, rub a teaspoon of olive oil on each filet and then sprinkle a little salt and pepper over them.
4. Evenly space 3 bay leaves over each fish filet, and then put 3 sprigs of rosemary on each filet. Top each filet with 2 slices of turkey bacon.
5. Bake the fish about 10 minutes until it is no longer raw in the center, or until a thermometer reaches the internal temperature of 145°.
To serve: garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs and lemon wedges.