Trout Smilie

Smilie is the nickname of Rodney Salvaggio, who opened a restaurant by the same name in Harahan in the 1970s. He sold it years ago. It was torn down in 2016 to make room for a gas station. Salvaggio is now one of the owners of Mr. John’s Steakhouse and Desi Vega’s. This dish is a classic coming together of Creole and Italian flavors. Rodney cooked this for a television show I used to do, and I like the dish enough to keep it in my repertoire. Other good fish to use are drum, small amberjack, or flounder.

  • 4 trout fillets, 6-8 oz. each
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 8 oz. lump crabmeat
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • Juice of 2 lemons (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine

Trout Smilie.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1. Salt and pepper the trout fillets and set aside.

2. Coat the bottom of a baking pan with some of the melted butter. Sprinkle a thin layer of bread crumbs over the bottom of the pan, and lay the trout over it. Spoon 1 Tbs. of butter over each fillet and sprinkle with enough bread crumbs to coat the fish.

3. Divide the crabmeat four ways and top the trout with it. Sprinkle chopped green onions over the fish. Douse each fillet with the rest of the butter and the lemon juice.

4. Bake the fish at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Two minutes before removing the fish from the oven, spoon 1 Tbs. of wine over each fillet. Serve immediately.

Serves four.

5 Readers Commented

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  1. Bill Peperone on May 22, 2014

    I like your recepies but my wife cannot eat butter. Can you give us some without so much butter?

    • Tom Fitzmorris on May 29, 2014

      More than half of my recipes are butter-free. But with only a few exceptions (all of them requiring emulsifying the butter, which requires butter)., you could substitute olive oil.

      Tastefully yours,
      Tom Fitzmorris

  2. Steven DeLony on May 29, 2014

    Can Red Snapper be substituted for trout smilie recipe fiund on your website? Thanks

    • Tom Fitzmorris on May 29, 2014

      Sure. That would work well, although my own inclination would be to make a simpler dish, red snapper being as superb as it is.

      Tastefully yours,
      Tom Fitzmorris

  3. Jim Walker on July 8, 2014

    I am a member of one of the natopns oldest fishing families. Great Grandfather was a fisherman for the Confederate Army. Father owned 26 steel hull shrimp trawlers and made the first commercial catch of Royal Reds. I remember him telling me that when they were dumped on the deck they would be in a huge tangled up ball because their whiskers were so long. Thought you might like to hear how we cook shrimp. Bring water to a rolling boil, put in shrimp, cook for a carefully timed two minutes, pour into a colander and ice to stop cooking. Royal reds about half the time, although about half this time.

    Caught three four pound specs and used your trout Smilie recipe. The only change was to use claw crab meat. It’s more flavorful in my opinion. It was wonderful and everyone loved it. Thanks.

    By the way I listen to you every time I can and really enjoy it. I especially love the music. Is it from a particular album? If so I would buy it and play it in my truck as I travel.