with dill sauce photographed Wednesday, June 3, 2015.
great are trout? They’re so great that they are as pretty
as a rainbow.
one out of the lake and slap it on a hot, greased skillet
and there is nothing better. Some of the fanciest
restaurants around are proud to serve trout that came from
mountain (and local) streams. And even though it is a
freshwater fish, some trout will live in the ocean for a
couple of years, meaning saltwater anglers can catch them,
too. How great is that? It’s so great that Franz Schubert
wrote an entire quintet about them.
thin, so they cook quickly. Their bones are easily removed.
They look the way a fish ought to look (have you seen a
monkfish? Those things are freaky). And most important, they
are flat-out delicious.
most people, there is but one way to cook a trout. It
involves slapping it on a hot, greased skillet. But I wanted
to mix things up a bit. So I roasted one in the oven. I
poached another in a red wine sauce.
third I slapped on a hot, greased skillet. But for that one,
I tried something new.
pan-fried trout are dredged through seasoned flour and
cooked in hot oil or butter. Cooks wanting a crispier fish
will dredge it through flour, dip it in eggs and then dredge
it through more flour, bread crumbs or panko bread crumbs.
Some will go so far as to use cornmeal.
wanted better than flour. Better than bread crumbs. Better
pairs well with nuts, though you have to do it right. One of
the worst restaurant meals of my life was in Lynchburg, Va.,
when I ordered cashew-covered fish of some sort, maybe even
trout. It just tasted oily. Oily and chewy.
lessons I learned (other than the lesson to avoid that
restaurant) were that the nut coating has to be fine, not
chunky, and that the dish has to be cooked at a high
is where almond flour comes in. Almond flour is fairly fine,
and it will cook quickly. Almond flour is also expensive,
but you can make it yourself. I made it myself once, which
is why I now buy it despite the cost.
dredged my fish through seasoned flour first, then egg, then
almond flour. I heated up a combination of olive oil and
butter — it’s an old Northern Italian trick that gives
whatever is cooked in it a wonderful flavor — and then
waited for the foaming from the butter to subside. That’s
when I knew the fat was ready for the fish.
fried it flesh (and almond-flour) side down for three
minutes, flipped it and then fried it skin-side down for an
additional two minutes. All it needed then was a squeeze of
lemon, some roasted potatoes and a salad. The almond flour
gave the sweet fish just the right hint of nuttiness.
up was a trout simmered in red wine, and I’m not going to
lie to you: this is not the most visually appealing dish.
The red wine turns the fish a kind of dull purple.
bit into it with some trepidation, but it turned out to be
quite good. Better than quite good, actually. The wine,
sweetened a bit with carrots and spiced with thyme, conveyed
a hearty, earthy flavor to the perfectly cooked fish.
first taste dispelled my other trepidation, too. This recipe
came from the book "Fish," by Mark Bittman, and I
wrote a few weeks ago that I do not necessarily trust
Bittman’s recipes to be accurate or palatable. But
"Fish" is widely considered to be a classic, and
it came out early in his career when he had more time to
take care with his recipes.
intrigues me most about this recipe, other than the unique
flavor it gives the trout, is what it does with the poaching
liquid. Ordinarily, the liquid used for poaching is not used
to make a sauce, or if it is, the thickening agent is added
after the fish is removed. But here Bittman adds flour along
with the spices right into the wine before the fish is
submerged. The sauce thickens as the fish cooks.
an interesting idea, and it works brilliantly well.
I stuffed and roasted a trout and served it with potatoes
and a lime-dill butter sauce. That sounds great, right?
it is. The trout is stuffed with dill and lime, and at first
I was a little wary of using dill because it is not an
obvious match for the trout. But then I remembered that
trout is actually a close relative of salmon, and nothing
goes with salmon like dill. So I gave it a shot, and I’m
glad I did.
the trout at a high temperature helped to concentrate its
flavor and allowed the taste of the dill to permeate the
fish. The potatoes are roasted at the same time — in fact,
the trout sits on top of them to allow the flow of hot air
around it — making this an easy meal to prepare.
also an impressive dish to serve, especially if you cook it
with the head and tail. Bring it out on a platter with the
potatoes and the lime-dill butter sauce, and it looks every
bit as amazing as it tastes.
great is that?
SIMMERED IN RED WINE
cup minced shallots
cup minced carrot
tablespoons all-purpose flour
sprigs of fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
tablespoon minced fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
cups good red wine
whole trout, about 3/4 pound each, gutted, with or without
Heat the butter over medium heat in a steep-sided 10-inch
skillet. When it has melted, add the shallots and carrot and
cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are soft.
Add the flour and stir; add the thyme, bay leaf, parsley and
salt and pepper to taste; stir and cook for about 1 minute,
then add the wine. Raise the heat a bit until the wine
starts to bubble, then reduce it so that the wine simmers.
the trout to the skillet and simmer, turning once, for a
total of about 10 to 12 minutes; the flesh will become
tender and pale when the trout is done. Remove the trout and
keep it warm; reduce the sauce over high heat until it is
quite thick, then spoon it over the fish. Garnish with
parsley and serve.
serving: 500 calories; 20 g fat; 10 g saturated fat; 227 mg
cholesterol; 42 g protein; 14 g carbohydrate; 3 g sugar; 2 g
fiber; 159 mg sodium; 75 mg calcium.
from "Fish: The Complete Guide to Buying and
Cooking," by Mark Bittman
and pepper to taste
trout, filleted and butterflied
tablespoon olive oil
Spread the all-purpose flour on a flat plate and season well
with salt and pepper. Put the egg in a bowl or plate next to
it, and spread the almond flour on a plate next to that.
Take each trout in turn and dredge the flesh side lightly
through the all-purpose flour, the egg and then the almond
flour. Set aside.
a large skillet, heat the oil and butter together over
medium-high heat until the foaming from the melting butter
has subsided. Place the trout flesh-side down in the hot oil
(you may have to do this in batches) and fry until the
bottom is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Carefully flip the
trout and fry on the other side until the fish is done,
about 2 more minutes.
Serve with wedges of lemon.
serving: 726 calories; 53 g fat; 9 g saturated fat; 189 mg
cholesterol; 49 g protein; 18 g carbohydrate; 2 g sugar; 6 g
fiber; 175 mg sodium; 268 mg calcium.
by Daniel Neman
TROUT WITH LIME-DILL BUTTER AND ROASTED POTATOES
(12-ounce) boned rainbow trout, with head and tail
lime, very thinly sliced
bunch fresh dill, divided
pound small red potatoes
tablespoons butter, divided
cloves garlic, sliced
of 1 lime
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Line the belly cavity of each trout with lime slices and a
few sprigs of dill; set the remaining dill aside. Arrange
the lime and dill so they will not fall out of the cavities.
Season the outside of the fish with salt and pepper, and
the potatoes are larger than a golf ball, cut them into
wedges. Place them in a medium pot with enough cold water to
barely cover them. Add 1 tablespoon salt and bring to a
boil. Immediately drain and allow the potatoes to air dry
for a few minutes.
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with the garlic in a large
ovenproof sauté pan over high heat. As the garlic begins to
brown, add the potatoes and toss to coat with the butter.
Allow the potatoes to sear in the pan until they begin to
brown on one side.
Shake the pan to arrange the potatoes in a single layer —
this will be the bed for the trout. Lay the stuffed trout on
top of the potatoes and transfer to the oven. Roast until
the trout is cooked through, about 12 minutes; check for
doneness by gently lifting the belly flap to reveal the
meat. If it is an even color all the way through, it is
the lime butter, chop the remaining dill. Combine the lime
juice and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
Remove from the heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons
butter, swirling the pan until it is all melted into the
sauce. Season with salt and add the dill. Serve the butter
on the side. Remove lime slices from fish before eating.
serving: 388 calories; 19 g fat; 10 g saturated fat; 121 mg
cholesterol; 33g protein; 20g carbohydrate; 2g sugar; 2g
fiber; 101mg sodium; 151mg calcium.
from "For Cod and Country," by Barton Seaver