By Jeremiah Tucker

Globe Staff Writer

How many ways are there to really skin a cat? The old saying is that there is more than one, but are there more than two? How about five?

Can't tell you. Don't know. The myriad possibilities for cat skinning will continue to boggle the mind for eons to come. But if there is indeed more than one way to skin a cat, then certainly there must be numerous ways to cook a trout - it's just sound reasoning.

Because trout season officially opened on Monday, some area restaurants and businesses shared a few of the many ways to cook a trout. ... all of which involve already having the trout cleaned and prepared, so you'll have to figure out that messy business on your own.

A natural flavor

"I just love it pan-fried and sauted with a little butter," said Linda Deslatte, manager of Broadway Fish Market, 721 Broadway St. She said she cooks the trout plain, lightly dusting it with flower and pepper.

She said she doesn't want to ruin the natural flavors of the freshwater fish.

"It just has such a pleasant taste," Deslatte said.

Deslatte admitted that there are numerous other ways to prepare trout, suggesting trout almondine, which she admitted she didn't know how to cook.

A quick Internet search reveals the www.cooks.com recipe for the haughty-sounding trout almondine, which is very similar to Deslatte's simple recipe with the minor alteration of first smothering the trout in slivered almonds before pan-frying it in butter and oil.

A taste of the Orient

For those salivating for something to whet their Eastern palate, Lili Ueno, part owner and operator of the sushi bar at Ichiban Japanese Restaurant, 2914 E. 32nd St., offers two different ways of cooking the trout, even though she said they have never cooked trout at Ichiban.

"We don't eat fresh-water fish a lot," Ueno said, but graciously suggested a couple ways that the trout could be prepared.

See Trout, Page 2B

She said to cook the fish in a pan or wok with sherry sauce, ginger, rice wine and a little sugar. Ueno added that trout could be served salad style by frying the fish separate and then slicing onions and carrots and mixing it all together with vinegar and ponsu sauce.

"The ponsu gives it an orange flavor," Ueno said.

Trout pizza?

Now if you caught your trout and sliced and spilled its innards to the disgust of your children, no worries. Venture off the beaten culinary path and make a trout pizza pie. The kids will love it, and with luck that time-honored tradition of awakening at 4 a.m. to stand and shiver shoulder-to-shoulder along a muddy bank can be passed along for at least one more generation.

Jim Ebans, manager of Woody's Woodfire Pizza, 1831 W. Seventh St., said that to make trout pizza you must first smoke, debone and cook the trout and have the dough ready.

On the dough spread a horseradish and mustard sauce and spread the trout on it. Top it with some gruyere cheese, garlic and salt. Add some lemon juice and butter, and then bake.

Ebans said that while trout pizza is not served at Woody's, one of the owners has made it before.

"It's similar to a seafood pizza we used to serve," Ebans said. "We tried it for the first couple years, but it wouldn't sell enough to keep fresh. It has to be super-fresh."

Trout almondine

6 trout, about 1 pound each, split

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 quart water

1 cup milk

1 cup flour and cornmeal mixture

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup sliced, blanched almonds

Wash trout in lemon juice and water, drain and dry. Dip in milk, roll in flour and meal mixture, shake off excess. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large skillet, heat oil and saut trout for about 6 minutes over medium-high heat; turn gently and cook 6 minutes on the other side. Remove and keep warm. Remove the oil from the pan. Add butter and almonds. Saut 3 to 4 minutes over medium-high heat. Pour almonds and butter over fish.

This Week's Circulars