The Salty Meat Andrew Zimmern Pairs With Trout For Perfectly Balanced Flavors

Andrew Zimmern, renowned chef and host of Travel Channel's "Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern," knows a thing or two about cooking seafood in all shapes, sized and flavors. When he opts for trout, he cooks the oily, freshwater creature in its entirety. And he's got a gourmet secret for taking this fish to the next level by wrapping it in a salty meat before cooking for maximum flavor.

In his recipe for grilled trout, Zimmern surrounds his trout with layers of prosciutto, a type of dry-cured ham cut from the back legs of pigs. Why, you might ask? It gives the fish "an irresistible charred ham flavor" and creates a simple yet satisfying meal. But Zimmern doesn't just use any old prosciutto. Instead, for each full trout, he uses 2 to 3 ounces of thinly sliced Prosciutto di Parma.

Prosciutto di Parma is a high-quality product that has been awarded the Parma crown because it's made exclusively in the Parma region of Italy and is closely monitored and inspected. It's also known for being one of the sweetest Italian varieties of prosciutto, boasting a salty and sometimes nutty flavor that pairs well with the sweet and nutty trout.

Prosciutto di Parma gives trout functionality and flavor

In a video shared to his Facebook page, Zimmern cuts open a whole rainbow trout before stuffing it with thyme, rosemary, sage, and lemon slices. He then wraps it in prosciutto. "This is gonna help hold the fish together on the grill. The charred ham is gonna be delightful. It's gonna bind together as that fats melts," he explains. He then grills the trout for a total of 15 minutes on a 400-degree Fahrenheit grill with the lid on.

While Zimmern can whip up a full fish in a jiffy, there are other preparations you may want to consider, including baking. In this recipe for parma ham-wrapped monkfish, the dish is thrown in a 400-degree Fahrenheit oven for 20 minutes. And you don't have to leave the head and tail on. You can also wrap your fish fillets — whether they're made of trout, salmon, cod, or tilapia — in Prosciutto di Parma, or another thinly sliced meat like bacon before cooking them using your desired method.