Scott Leysath

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Monday, October 06, 2008


When it comes to cooking with butter, you can take things a little too far. Let’s say you’ve cranked up the heat to get a skillet nice and hot. In goes the butter, the phone rings, you get distracted and the next thing you know, the pan is smoking. You’ve got to start over. Brown butter only takes a few minutes, but requires constant supervision. The flavor is aromatic, nutty and unlike plain old melted butter. If it smokes or separates, you’ve gone too far and will have to give it another try.

Trout with Sage Brown Butter - 4 servings

6  Tbls butter
1  tsp fresh sage leaves, minced (or substitute 1/2 tsp. dried sage leaves)
2  Tbls capers, rinsed and drained
2  tsps freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3  cup tomato, seeded and diced
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

4  pan-sized trout, cleaned and dressed
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2  Tbls butter
1/2  cup dry white wine
2 – 3   garlic cloves, minced
1/2  lb baby spinach, rinsed and patted dry

     To prepare sauce, heat butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir frequently until foam subsides and butter is a light brown color and smells a little nutty, but not burnt, about 4 – 5 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl and stir in sage, capers, lemon juice, tomato and salt and pepper to taste.

     Season trout inside and out with salt and pepper. Wipe out pan with a paper towel. Heat butter (not butter sauce!) over medium heat and sauté trout until lightly browned on both sides. Add white wine and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes more. For each serving, place a small mound of spinach on plates, place trout on spinach and spoon butter sauce over.

     Trout Tip: Frozen trout don’t hold up well for more than a couple of months. The light, delicate, slightly oily flesh gets mushy when frozen. I like to either broil or smoke previously frozen trout and blend the cooked and cooled meat with softened cream cheese, onion, capers and garlic for a delicious spread.

     Scott’s website, has hundreds of free fish and game recipes. Catch his TV show, HuntFishCook, in your area or on-line anytime at

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