My gardener is also my fishmonger. I was happy when he stopped by the other day with these beauties which he caught while ice fishing. No, this isn't my gardener/fishmonger... it's a picture I found on a Google image search so you could see how much fun this ice fishing thing looks. If you look real close and use your imagination, you can see a smile on this guy's face. Fun!
My gardener/fishmonger said he'd give me a discount on the fish if I'd clean them myself. With the tough economy these days, I jumped at the chance of saving a few pennies and asked him to put the rest on my bill.
The first thing we do to get these babies cleaned up is to scale the trout. It's just a matter of taking a knife and scraping against the scales until it's clean.
Next, cut right in back of the gills down to the backbone. Turn it over and same thing... cut right in back of the gills, but this time all the way through. If you're lucky, when you pull the head off the guts will come with it. If not, no worries... we're going to have to clean out the insides real good anyway.
So now take your knife and insert it into the vent and simply cut up the middle of the belly of the fish. Clean the fish under running water to make sure you get all the blood and guts. You can leave the tail on or cut it off, whatever you prefer, but leave the top and bottom fins on. After the fish has been cooked they'll help with removing the bones.
This recipe for Trout Amandine turned out to be very good. The trout was flaky, tender and was topped with a buttery, nutty sauce. Delicious!
So, there you go. Now when you visit your fishmonger (or he visits you) you can clean the trout yourself! (Be sure to ask for a discount.)