FINE DINING IN HALF AN HOUR: ST. GEORGE ISLAND STYLE SPECKLED TROUT

St. George Island-Style Speckled Trout

With over 100 species of fish calling the pristine waters of Apalachicola Bay home, St. George Island is paradise for fishermen and seafood lovers alike. Anglers can catch everything from redfish and black drum to bluefish, Spanish mackerel and even sharks, meaning there’s something for everyone and every palate. However, one of the Bay’s natives stands out in particular—the speckled trout.

A favorite of famed chef Emeril Lagasse, who’s called it “the best eating fish in North America,” this fish offers a delicious, meaty texture and subtle, briny flavor that can work in a variety of dishes.

We’ve included our favorite way to serve this scrumptious fish: with shrimp and a champagne beurre blanc sauce. Beach days aren’t meant to be spent in the kitchen, which is why this quick and easy recipe is perfect—in about half an hour, you’ll have a meal that rivals something from a fine restaurant.

This same method can be used with many local catches such as flounder, pompano, or mahi mahi; just be sure to stick to a milder white fish.

St. George Island-Style Speckled Trout

Baked Speckled Trout and Shrimp Ingredients:

6 speckled trout fillets

1 lb. peeled shrimp

1/2-cup butter

1 lemon

Salt, pepper, garlic powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F
  2. Oil or spray bottoms of two pans, 9×14 and 7×11.
  3. Place fillets, skin side down, in the 9×14 pan and shrimp in 7×11 pan. Dot shrimp with butter.
  4. Squeeze lemon juice, then sprinkle salt, pepper, and garlic powder over fish and shrimp.
  5. Bake uncovered 15 to 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork and shrimp are pink.

Champagne Beurre Blanc Ingredients:

1 shallot, minced

1 cup dry sparkling wine

3 tablespoons champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar

Juice of 1/2 of a lemon

1/4-teaspoon white pepper

3/4-cup cold butter, cubed

1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon

Directions:

  1. In small saucepan, simmer shallot, wine, vinegar, lemon juice, and pepper until reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 10 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to low.
  3. Whisk in 1 cube of butter at a time just until each is melted, careful not to boil.
  4. Set aside and stir in tarragon.

Plate each trout fillet, top with shrimp, and drizzle with sauce. Serve immediately with seasonal vegetables.

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