Grilled NC rainbow trout from Our Local Catch Sustainable Carolina Seafood

Earlier this week, my business partner Debi and I had a total bro-down feast on the Motor Supply patio with a really fab young couple, Bryan and Lindsay Tayara of Our Local Catch. (They are so fab that we accidentally had dinner for four hours.)

I had met them through Kristian Niemi, who hosted a recent Sustainable Seafood Initiative dinner with them and the SC Aquarium at his terrific Italian restaurant, Rosso Trattoria. (The Shop Tart's recap of the dinner is great.)

Are they not adorbs?

Bryan and Lindsay are doing great things from their home base in Florence, SC. Here is a short list of neat things about them and Our Local Catch:

* These two recently started the Pee Dee chapter of Slow Food.

* They source only sustainably caught/farmed seafood, breeding relationships with producers and bringing tasty things like amberjack burgers, clams, and smoked trout bacon to Rosewood Market in Columbia, SC on Thursdays from 1-6pm. They send newsletter updates and ship to the lower 48, too.

* Their smoked trout dip is becoming widely known as the new crack cocaine of hors d'oeuvres in Columbia, SC. Hero status gets awarded to those who bring it to parties.

* They are planning to expand operations on the smoked trout front to market it and other tasty seafood products in stores across the country.

* They're working with The Half and Half on their graphic design, if that tells you anything about their (excellent) aesthetic sensibilities.

* Bryan's family has owned and operated the legendary Orangeland Seafood restaurant and meat market in Florence for something like 3 decades. I aim to try a fish fry there sometime.

* Bryan, a Johnson & Wales culinary school grad who's worked at Wolfgang Puck's Spago in LA, is doing some restaurant and menu design consulting.

* They are raising two young daughters in the midst of all this.

After our dinner at Motor, Bryan hopped in the back of their truck, opened up their big cooler (which they painted a nifty blue color, 'cause why not?) and pulled out armfuls of delicious seafood treats like fresh rainbow trout from a farm in NC, among other delights.

Yesterday, happy hour at the Flock and Rally office consisted of a quick visit from our talented filmmaker friends at Paris MTN Scout, a few glasses of cold white wine, and a whole thinger of  smoked trout dip.

Yes, those are fresh herbs up in there. Yummah.

Today, I noodled around and found this recipe for grilled trout from Food and Wine, which I messed with. The main thing is that it helped me settle upon a vinaigrette for basting, which turned out to be an ideal contrast with the rich, fatty, lake-y flavor of freshwater trout. Bang.

Grilled NC Rainbow Trout with Basil Vinaigrette

First, I sprayed the skin side of my trout fillets with high-temp canola oil, then flipped them and brushed on an emulsion of the following: 
  • Good olive oil
  • Citrus champagne vinegar (use whatever vinegar you want)
  • Fancy Italian oregano salt (regular salt is fine unless you are a pretentious food nerd like me)
  • Fresh ground coriander (if you don't have a peppermill just for coriander, you are missing out, homies.)
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • A teensy sprinkle of Hungarian paprika (but not too much b/c paprika burns on high heat)

Then, after getting my gas grill hot on high to about 450-500 degrees, I put my fillets on, skin side down. Watched, waited for a few minutes.

Once the skin started to show significantly browner grill marks, I pulled off the thin edges and tail pieces of the fish so that A. they wouldn't overcook and B. I could just eat them.


Then, when the skin was bubbled up and crispy on the edges, but the center meat was still coral pink and translucent, it was time to flip the fishes. Just one more minute or so, and they were all done.


Before cooking, I had whipped up a quick vinaigrette: 
  • Fresh basil from the yard, chiffonade-d it into little strips
  • Olive oil
  • Citrus champagne vinegar
  • Dijon mustard
Spooned it on there with a squeeze of lemon and some more black pepper. BANG.

Holy lord. That fish was excellent. I have been known to eschew rainbow trout for its innate lake-y flavor, but Bryan and Lindsay's fish had a cleaner, more pure flavor than you find in most farmed trout. Score!

If you are a Columbia person, check out Our Local Catch.

If you are not in South Carolina or even near it, I would just like for you to know that my home state is brimming with talented, progressive peeps doing awesome stuff, and I am so happy here that it kindof hurts a tiny bit. 


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