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All That And A Bag Of Trouts

Trivia question: do you know how many bones a trout has?

The answer is eleventy million.  We made a video to prove it.

~~~

Alton Brown’s trout burger recipe (and other sustainable seafood recipes) is here.

I saw Alton cook at the Tennessee Aquarium last week, thanks to a free ticket from my friend Anna, who works there.  He suggested we eat (a) smaller fish; (b) U.S. fish (because our fishing industry is subject to regulations); and (c) more diverse kinds of seafood.

He also stared straight into my eyes and shook a teaspoon at me.

It was pretty hot.

59 Comments Post a comment
  1. katherine: may i say that there is NOTHING i enjoy more than a good eggton video. if you continue with these, i would imagine that in less than a years’ time, i will see you gracing the top story of Today’s “Trending Now” segment. extra points for excellent music selection.
    it’s safe to say i’ll never filet a trout. but it’s also safe to say that i will try these burgers. with haste, as long as i can find already-boned trout.

    that sounded weird.

    September 19, 2012
    • Hee hee. That sounded amazing. When I was at the grocery store, I asked the sales associate behind the seafood desk if he could bone the trout for me.

      He could not, and it was awkward.

      September 19, 2012
  2. This is so cute. Tell me though, I’ve only heard that farmed fish are bad and inhumane and not very nutritious. What does Alton say? It doesn’t really matter to me as I’m vegetarian, but I make an effort to buy wild for my family. If I can save a couple bucks (or $20) I’m for that.

    September 19, 2012
    • Ah so interesting. I’ll check into it. I read a really good book called Four Fish, and I’ll go back and look at what it says about farmed fish–I do remember it saying that certain types of farmed fish can be problematic. I wouldn’t be surprised if it depends on what species of fish we’re talking about. For example, I know the Monterey Bay sustainability ratings for fish tell you what fish are good to get farmed and what fish are good to get pole-caught or trawled, etc. According to them you want farmed arctic char, but wild Alaskan salmon for example. Here’s the link to their site where you can download regional guides to the best/worst seafood to buy, in the meantime: http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/cr_seafoodwatch/download.aspx

      September 19, 2012
      • Anna #

        Hello! This is the friend who works at the Aquarium. The farm-raised versus wild-caught fish is, like many other things in the sustainable seafood world, not quick or easy to answer. It does depend on the species. For fish that are low on the food chain, grow quickly, and do well in crowded conditions, farm-raised can be the way to go. This includes things like rainbow trout, channel catfish, or arctic char. For example, it takes about 1.5 to 2 pounds of food to grow a pound of rainbow trout, versus 4 to 5 pounds of feed for a salmon… And that feed is typically wild fish that we could have just eaten. For this reason, Alton likes to say that raising top predators like tuna or swordfish is like farming salmon. This also relates to our recommendation to eat smaller fish because they typically grow more quickly and reproduce earlier, which helps their populations withstand fishing pressure. And definitely support U.S. fisheries, whether farm-raised or wild-caught. Thanks for sharing the information, Kat!

        September 19, 2012
  3. Wendy #

    Love it! Please keep doing videos!!! (Also, watching you filet that trout made ME feel like I needed a glass of wine.)

    September 19, 2012
    • Wendy, we will totally keep making videos because it is crazy fun for us! But also challenging–we use Scott’s iPhone and I edit it on Windows movie maker. Hopefully we’ll figure out something better soon. For the gardening video, Scott attached his iPhone to a broomstick with rubber bands, and then stuck the broom stick into a flower pot. That was our make-shift tripod!

      September 19, 2012
  4. ALLLLTOOOOONNNNN. you are so lucky. thanks for the instructional video, which i’ll save as proof to a certain someone that filleting fish is thirsty work and that the box o’ wine is mine and mine alone.

    September 19, 2012
    • Yes, indeed–filleting fish is thirsty work. Also, we had to stop multiple times and have quesadillas when we felt our blood sugar levels dropping.

      September 19, 2012
  5. This is the first Eggton video I’ve seen, How fabulous. What is the song (or songs) you used? (I liked the music — I got that it was Foster the People, but what song(s)?

    September 19, 2012
  6. Well, that was SOME commitment! Also, very, very hilarious. I think I’ll be buying my trout pre-filleted.

    September 19, 2012
    • Ariana, I cannot stress enough how important it is to buy it pre-filleted.

      BUY IT PRE-FILLETED.

      September 19, 2012
  7. Mary #

    LOVE the video and those trout burgers do look mighty tasty!

    September 19, 2012
    • Mary, they were truly delicious. At first I wondered how the heck they would stay together, but you toss in one egg white and then refrigerate the patties for 30 minutes. Works like a charm!

      September 19, 2012
  8. Nice! That does look tasty, which is obvious since it’s Alton Brown. I once made a bread recipe of his (I think it was called Cloud Bread) and it rose so high while it was baking that it got wedged between the bottom and top racks in the oven. And then it still wasn’t done on the inside! Anyway, I don’t know if you got your method down after a while, but every time I’ve fileted fish with my husband he had me stick my fingers in that flappy thing behind its head to anchor the fish, then cut with the (extremely sharp) knife straight down into its neck. When you feel the spine you turn the knife and follow the spine down to the tail. Then repeat on the other side of the fish, chop both pieces off the tail and you should have a perfect filet after a few tries! And if your knife is really sharp, it shouldn’t be any problem to skin them afterwards either. Also, I’ve never done this but I would think that all those heads and spines would make delicious fish stock.

    September 19, 2012
    • Your method, Jenifer, sounds much like the method we saw on a lot of youtube videos before we got started. We watched a lot of fish experts filet fish and they did just like you said. After every video, we were like “oh totally. We’ll just do it that way. No problem.” And then we’d get in front of the fish and all hell would break lose. Our knives weren’t sharp. We borrowed our friend’s cleaver, which was not as useful as we had hoped. I would yell at Scott “find the collarbone! The guy on the youtube video said you must find the collarbone!” And Scott would look at me like “um, unless YOU want to to stick your hand in this fish’s mouth, would you please stop shouting?” It was hilarious. We did notice that the skin came off pretty easily. It sounded like electrical tape coming off a wall! And I bet you’re right about the fish stock–I thought about that at one point, but I had forgotten about it by the time I threw those heads in the trashcan! Alas. Next time.

      September 19, 2012
  9. LOVED the video—it had me giggling the whole time, you guys are a great team! And by the way, the trout burgers sounds fabulous, I make salmon burgers, and the occasional cod burger, but never tried trout.

    September 19, 2012
    • Oh yum! I bet your salmon and cod burgers are great. What do you put in them? I will check your site (which I love, by the way) to see if the recipes are on there. Cod is my favorite fish in the world.

      September 19, 2012
  10. Great video! I see a thing happening….you’ll get your own show in no time!

    September 19, 2012
    • Rrrrrright. And the show will be called “Crap! I forgot to add the flour!” Or something similar. :)

      September 19, 2012
      • Well exactly! There are lots of cooking shows where people take themselves waaaayyyy too seriously.

        September 19, 2012
  11. Your video was amazing! You really are a star!!!

    September 19, 2012
    • Aw. You are so kind! And Scott is a patient film maker. You should see the 900 takes that ended up on the proverbial cutting room floor because I froze up and could not form a complete sentence. :)

      September 19, 2012
      • You are refreshing and a joy to watch! And you make being in the kitchen something to look forward to! I have a love and hate relationship with food! You are an inspiration for change!!!

        September 19, 2012
        • You make me laugh because did you see our terrrrrrible counter tops? We’re renting this great house so we can’t complain, but they’re formica. Whitish grey with puke green ribbons of plastic or whatever. running through them. Everytime I go into the kitchen I get excited to cook and then I see the countertops and I’m like “NEVERMIND!” :)

          September 19, 2012
  12. BTW, your Copyright Information caught my eye just now and I’m curious why you say that reblogging sucks…. isn’t it just kind of like forwarding an email? Call me naive….but I want to know.

    September 19, 2012
    • Ok here’s my thing with reblogging. When a wordpress blogger clicks the “reblog” button at the top of your page, it re-publishes *your* post on *their blog.* Your title goes up on their blog, and the first 200 words or whatever of your post, with one of your pictures in a big size on their blog, with the other pictures from your post in a thumbnail size below it. A lot of people have purely reblog blogs (like, none of their original work, no contact info for themselves on there, etc.) The reblogged post does have a link back to your blog so any of the other person’s readers can see the original source and continue reading. But a lot of people believe reblogging violates copyright because people can take your written material and photography without your permission and then just attribute it back to you, whereas they should be asking first and reproducing your stuff only if you give prior approval. People on the anti-reblogging side of the fence say that if a copyright holder doesn’t “police” the internet for unauthorized uses of her copyrighted material (i.e. doesn’t notify a reblogger that they don’t have permission and ask the reblogger to take it down), she can lose her copyright. Ergo: reblogging is a pain for anal people like me who don’t quite know what’s going on with copyright law but who want to protect the full extent of their copyrights. It’s tough, too, because most rebloggers are well-meaning people who just like your material and I’m always grateful for that. But wordpress does seem to recognize that reblogging is a problem from a copyright standpoint–if the reblogger ignores your request, apparently you can contact wordpress and they’ll remove it for you.

      Anyway, shall we open the kettle of fish that is pinterest?

      KIDDING.

      September 19, 2012
  13. Wow, you weren’t kidding: they sure do have a lot of bones. My mother once convinced me to make salmon burger-patty things out of canned salmon (she has done this for years and they are pretty good), BUT picking through all that muck for those little teeny bones was more than this kitchen novice could take. I think I’d rather just eat them?

    In any case, here’s to drinking and de-boning!

    September 19, 2012
    • I tried to make salmon burgers a few weeks ago. I bought some canned salmon–but not the pretty pink stuff in the can like tuna fish. I saw a big can of wild Alaskan salmon that was cheaper, so I got that. I opened it up and wanted to barf. Like you said–picking through all that muck. I didn’t want to waste food, but I knew I could never eat it so I threw the can away. Fresh, smell-free fish was a dream compared to that canned salmon, whoooowee!

      September 19, 2012
  14. OMG! ENCORE ENCORE ENCORE :) that was so fabulous and they do taste good, I bet. A trout bit me once so I take particular delight in eating them. Awesome video!

    September 19, 2012
    • Ha! My friend’s rabbit bit me above the knee, through my jeans, when I was a kid. It hurt like hell. After reading your note, it occurs to me that I haven’t eaten enough rabbit over the years in revenge!

      September 19, 2012
  15. I once ate wolf-fish. Those bastards have teeth in their throat. Teeth. In. Their. Throat. When is that shit necessary? Never. It’s never necessary.
    Is this Alton chap like our Heston Blumenthal? I keep seeing his name crop up on over-the-pond blogs. Does he make mad food that convinces you he is actually a wizard? If creepy teeth-in-throat fish exist, I’m sure wizards do.

    September 19, 2012
  16. Ha! Hilarious! Katherine, my fellow food sister, I so admire your commitment! Girl, I don’t think I would have had half the patience, but, true, wine would have definitely helped. But your smile when you bit into that burger? Well, let’s just say, said it a-l-l, all =) Fabulous!

    September 19, 2012
    • Christina, want to know a secret? We had to do that take twice, BECAUSE THERE WAS A BONE IN THE FIRST BITE. It was the only bone in any of the burgers, and I just so happened to get it at the very beginning. But can you believe that? I was like I’M GOING TO HURT SOMEONE!

      October 15, 2012
  17. Jen #

    Love how your beverage choice continues to change the longer you are there! That made me laugh! :)

    September 19, 2012
    • Jen, I needed reinforcements of various kinds!

      October 15, 2012
  18. Amy #

    Haha, loved the video. I saw Seymour tried to help in that one part of the video while Thunder snoozed the whole time. Remind me never to buy a whole fish from the market.

    September 19, 2012
    • NEVER BUY A WHOLE FISH FROM THE MARKET.

      Seymour has a jumping-up-on-the-table problem. When I tell him “off!” He’s looks at me like “OMG DID YOU KNOW THERE’S A WHOLE FISH ON THE TABLE?! DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS!!!”

      September 20, 2012
  19. juanitascocina #

    I was just writing to ask if I can come over? I’ll sit in the corner. But, I just want to watch the festivities.

    September 19, 2012
    • My goodness, yes. Please do! You’ll just have to bring a pillow. These festivities took two days, you know.

      September 20, 2012
  20. You should absolutely make more videos. Or even a full length movie. My one year old loves you. She sat still and watched all 3 minutes of that without making a sound. She loves you. Also watching other people cook/bone trout is a hobby of mine.

    September 19, 2012
    • Emma, this made me and Scott so, so happy.

      October 15, 2012
  21. joe g. #

    Is that a Thundercats T-shirt Scott is wearing? I used to watched that show.

    September 19, 2012
  22. MrsH #

    And this is how I’m going to become that creepy fangirl. First of all – I’m jealous that you got to go to an Alton Brown cooking thing; I saw him at a book signing and realized that he’s even better live than on TV, and such a classy guy.

    Anyhow, those burgers look amazing. I’ll just go to the store and let the fish monger know that I can only accept pre-filleted trout, because I haven’t ever boned a fish and it looks like crazy hard work. And I don’t have enough wine on hand for that (a problem in itself, to be sure).

    If you ever visit Seattle, come cook with me. We can go to Pike Place Market and watch them throw fish and then buy it and cook it. I should warn you, I have ugly counters too though.

    September 20, 2012
    • I would love to come cook with you! I wonder when I’ll go back. I was in Seattle twice in 2010–I wish we had known each other then!

      Is the crumpet factory by Pike Place open yet? I went there once in 2007 and when I went back, it was closed for renovations. I LOVED the green eggs and ham one, and the one with ricotta and honey and almonds. . . maybe we could figure out how to make those after we cook our fish?

      September 20, 2012
      • MrsH #

        Yes, I want to say they reopened last year. So good with maple butter! We can totally figure out how to reproduce them, I’m sure. Also, please tell me that when you were here, you visited the Beecher’s Handmade Cheese shop? I’m a sucker for cheese and I love theirs more than I should.

        September 21, 2012
  23. You guys are SO much more committed than any video cooks I’ve ever seen — those people use a magic kitchen where all they do is open the refrigerator/oven/pantry and pull out fully prepared ingredients and dishes. It is refreshing to finally see someone tell the TRUTH about food preparation!

    September 20, 2012
  24. I love this video!

    September 20, 2012
    • Thanks, Betsy! It was a hoot to make.

      October 15, 2012
  25. Ha! – Alton has his eye on you – cute:) I love trout and always end up with a bone or 5 or 10 – YIKES!

    September 20, 2012
    • Yeah, I was in the front row (I was such a brown-nosing dork in high school, and old habits die hard) so it was hard for him NOT to have an eye on me at some point. :)

      October 15, 2012
  26. This video just about cancelled out the trauma of almost dropping a huge pan of fruit cakes at baking school yesterday. I don’t like fruitcake or nuffin’, but they are way expensive. And, apparently, VERY HEAVY. So thanks for that.

    Also, I’m curious about Scott’s directing style. Is he a yeller? Does he have one of those clapperboards? Does he make you do movement exercises to warm up? (You know – BE the wind, BE the absence of space…) Just wondering.

    And finally: those burgers look freakin’ amazing.

    September 22, 2012
  27. April was in CT now CA #

    So, a co-worker of my hubs caught some fresh trout and sent a few home with him and I was all “Great! Fresh fish for dinner!!” and as my Mr. started to filet them and I attempted pulling out bones I started seeing little wiggly things. WORMS. Did you know this is normal? I had no idea and after I stopped gagging I knew I couldn’t eat the fish after witnessing this. Apparently I need to be in the dark about what really happens with my food in the raw state and I had to throw them out and eat saltines for dinner.

    Love your video!!

    September 26, 2012
  28. Katherine!! You are the funniest.person,EVAH!!!!! Be careful opening up your front door because you might find me curled up on the front step with my pillow and toothbrush with a sign that reads: Please Adopt Me. (Well, you would read that on the sign, since signs themselves are inanimate objects, and therefore, unable to read)

    October 4, 2012

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