by Wayne Phillips

photo-Wayne Phillips
A gratin is a dish that is covered with bread crumbs and baked in the oven until the crust is golden-brown.

Ingredients for four servings:

  • 16 oz. cooked, flaked brown trout
  • 1 large cooking onion, diced
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups mushrooms, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups white sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh or 1 Tbsp. dried tarragon
  • Zest of one lemon and its juice
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Procedure

    Bake the brown trout and flake it while still warm to make removing the skin easier. In a saute pan, fry the onions and mushrooms until they are soft. Add them to the flaked trout and gently mix in the white sauce. Try not to break up the trout pieces. Place in baking dish. Top with fresh bread crumbs that are moistened with olive oil. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes or until heated through.

    For the white sauce:

    Yields about 1 1/2 cups

    • 3 Tbsp. butter
    • 3 Tbsp. flour
    • 1 1/2 cups milk
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    To make the white sauce, melt the butter in a bowl in a microwave. Stir in flour and return to microwave to cook briefly. Add milk and cook in microwave until thickened, stirring a few times to keep sauce smooth.


    You can use either a large baking dish or individual baking dishes. Individual dishes make for a great presentation.


    To moisten the bread crumbs, drizzle a tablespoon or two of olive oil or melted butter in the bowl of bread crumbs. Lightly toss them until all are moistened with the oil.

    You can flavor the bread crumb topping with your favorite herb, but tarragon, basil, and dill complement fish best.

    Bread Crumb Toppings for Fish

    When making a bread crumb topping for fish, always use fresh bread crumbs instead of dry bread. The moisture content in the fresh bread results in a crunchy, golden-brown topping that adds a wonderful texture contrast. Fresh bread crumbs also make a great coating when pan-frying fish. To prepare the bread crumbs, tear up fresh bread and process them in a food processor until you get a coarse texture. For added flavor, use brown, pumpernickel, or any rustic bread.

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