Sometimes there’s nothing better than a simple supper, and when you are blessed with a beautiful piece of fresh fish you don’t really need to do an awful lot with it.
You can, of course, try this with salmon. However, salmon is extremely overfished – including farmed salmon. Trout is readily available at most supermarket and high-street fishmongers, and this blog is always about trying something different, so why not make a change and cook with trout instead?
Trout has a beautiful subtle flavour – similar to salmon and varies slightly in taste. You can get two kinds of trout, freshwater or saltwater, saltwater being slightly stronger in flavour and freshwater which tastes milder and very slightly gamey, but very delicious. The two most common trout you’ll come across at your supermarket or fishmonger are Brown Trout (freshwater) or Rainbow Trout (saltwater). Both are beautiful fish to cook with. Just make sure you de-scale the trout before you cook with it, just ask your fishmonger to do this if you can, but if not – scrape an old knife over the scales in the opposite direction to where they grow and they’ll flake off. It’s quite a messy job if you do it yourself, but certainly not difficult to do.
Here’s a lovely recipe I go to for all kinds of fish, but it lends itself very well to trout. Just serve with buttery minted new potatoes and sweet garden peas. It’s also very quick simple to make, which makes it perfect for a weeknight supper.
Here’s what you’ll need to serve 4:
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 1 fennel bulb, sliced, and hang on to the green fronds
- A few sprigs of thyme
- 4 fillets of higher-welfare trout
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 4 knobs of unsalted butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 meter-long(ish) sheet of baking paper
- 400g of new potatoes
- A handful of fresh mint
- 400g of garden peas
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit). Line a sided baking tray with the baking paper, enough that you can fold it in half and have lots of room for 4 trout fillets.
- Slice the onions and fennel thinly and place into the tray on one half of the baking paper with the thyme and season with a pinch of salt. Place the fillets on top, then generous knobs of butter, half of the lemon in slices on top of each fillet and sprinkle over the fennel tops.
- Give everything a final season with a pinch of salt and pepper and fold over the other half of baking sheet, rolling the sides tightly like a Cornish pasty.
- Place into the oven for 12 minutes. Meanwhile, put the new potatoes on to boil in salted water with a handful of mint.
- After 12 minutes, take the trout out of the oven and leave to rest for a few minutes whilst you put the peas on to boil quickly so they are just cooked but still firm.
- Serve the potatoes and peas in warm serving dishes and serve the trout in the paper and fight over the cooking juices at the bottom. Cut up the remainder of the lemon into wedges to squeeze over the top.
This is a beautiful, simple dish even first-time fish chefs can try!
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