It’s that time of year again. Cooler nights, changing leaves and agricultural fair season. From August through October, North Carolina is home to more than 30 ag fairs.
Each fair offers its own local flavor on exhibits, competitions and entertainment. Showcasing the best a community has to offer in livestock, agriculture, art and cooking is at the heart of a fair.
Last Saturday, the N.C. Mountain State Fair in Fletcher held a trout cooking contest, sponsored by the N.C. Aquaculture Association. Entries could be a main dish, side dish, salad or appetizer and contain at least a 4-ounce serving of North Carolina-raised mountain trout. Below is the winning recipe by Sharon Gates.
CRISPY BAKED TROUT
- 1 1/2 pounds N.C. trout filets
- 1 cup crisped rice cereal
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Rinse trout filets and pat dry with paper towels. Add rice cereal, thyme, salt and pepper to a food processor and pulse for a few seconds to crush cereal. Pour cereal mixture into a bowl. In a separate bowl, break eggs and beat lightly. Dip each trout filet into eggs, then into cereal mixture. Repeat to coat both sides and place on a baking sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes until trout flakes easily and coating is browned.
For more information on NC agricultural fairs, visit www.ncagfairs.org. The N.C. Mountain State Fair runs through Sunday, September 18.