Finding Fresh in the Streams of the High Country
By Arielle Patterson
North Carolina’s High Country is known for its abundance of both stocked and wild trout in the area’s mountain streams. While fly fishing enthusiasts flock to these waters to cast their line, others prefer to enjoy the bounty of North Carolina’s aquaculture at a local restaurant.
While visiting the High Country, indulge in fresh, locally caught seafood from an area restaurant. There is no shortage of seafood retailers, along with restaurants, that utilize seafood caught from local waters.
The High Country is known for its rainbow trout, and North Carolina is the second-largest producer of this species in the nation. This fish is also naturally low in calories and sodium, while containing high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids. Trout is an incredibly versatile fish that can be served fried, grilled, baked or blackened.
The North Carolina Department of Agriculture has a Seafood Directory that provides more information about local seafood, as well as where to buy it from area seafood markets and restaurants.
Buying and eating North Carolina seafood not only produces a higher-quality, tastier meal, it also helps sustain the business and livelihoods of local fishermen which is a win-win.
Pecan-Crusted Trout with Beurre Blanc Sauce
Recipe courtesy of the North Carolina Carolina Department of Agriculture
4 trout Filets
½ cup pecans, processed until finely ground in a food processor or blender
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup buttermilk
Salt and pepper
For Beurre Blanc Sauce
½ cup white wine
½ cup fresh orange juice
1 shallot minced, about ¼ cup
6 whole black peppercorns
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
To Prepare Trout
Preheat oven to 350. Beat egg and combine with buttermilk. Combine flour and processed pecans. Salt and pepper the trout, dip in buttermilk mixture and dredge in flour and pecan mixture. Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a sauté pan to medium high heat and add trout filets – brown on one side, flip and place in a 350 degree oven to finish cooking (6-8 minutes).
To Prepare Beurre Blanc Sauce
Bring white wine, orange juice, shallot, and peppercorns to a boil in a medium skillet over high heat. Cook until reduced to ¼ cup, about 6 minutes. Strain the mixture; return liquid to skillet (should be about 3 tablespoons). Reduce heat to low. Whisk in butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, until thick and smooth. Remove from heat.