Keeping my determination to eat light and healthy for the next couple of weeks, I prepared another favorite fish of ours - rainbow trout. We are very fortunate to have locally raised rainbow trout that is the preference of many restaurants in our area and is also sold by the best fish markets. I recently found a new preparation for it that is so delicious that my husband has again declared my preparation better than the trout at our favorite restaurant. Can you see me smiling?
This recipe isn't much different from most trout preparations but there are just a few things that make it really special - the first, being the addition of corn meal to the flour for dusting. There is no egg wash step and the addition of shallots and thyme give it a wonderful taste.
I found this particular recipe in Gordon Hamersley's Bistro Cooking at Home cook book. This is the second recipe I have tried from his book and I've been very happy with both.
The original recipe did not call for almonds but it's such a wonderful, traditional combination with trout that I incorporated them into my preparation. However, if you can't eat nuts or dislike them, feel free with leave them out. It will still be delicious.
The fish is crispy on the outside and light and flaky on the inside. The lemon, butter and parsley add just the right sparkle of flavor to the dish. I don't eat the skin but my husband loves it!
Inspired by ‘Bistro Cooking’ by Gordon Hamersley
Rainbow Trout Amandine with Lemon-Butter and Parsley
Serves 2-4 depending on the size of the trout and your appetite for fish! My husband can eat 2 whole trout easily.
4 whole rainbow trout (I have the whole fish cut into fillets when I purchase them but it's easy enough to do on your own), rinsed under cold water
1 tablespoon shallot, very finely diced (Tip: I keep a jar of Penzey’s Freeze Dried Shallots in my pantry)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped (or ¼-1/2 teaspoon dried thyme - crushed)
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup cornmeal
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons slivered or sliced almonds
Use your two largest sauté pans (12" or larger) in order to prepare all the fillets at the same time. You should be able to fit 4 fillets in each pan if you're making this entire recipe.
In a dish large enough to fit the trout, mix the flour and cornmeal, season with a dash of salt and pepper and add the finely minced shallots and thyme. Stir to combine. Press the trout fillets into flour mixture and pat onto both sides to adhere as much as possible. (This step can be done several hours ahead. Place the seasoned and floured fillets on a large plate in one layer. Use a piece of waxed paper or parchment and add the second layer of floured fillets. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to prepare.)
Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and 1-1/2 tablespoons of butter in each large pan over medium-high heat. When the butter stops bubbling, place half of the fillets in each pan, skin side down. Sauté for about 3 minutes, watching carefully so that they don’t burn but they should be nicely browned. Turn the fillets over and cook them for about 3 minutes more. Transfer the fish to a warm platter while making the sauce.
Wipe out one of the pans with a paper towel and place it over medium heat. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and cook over high heat until it stops bubbling and turns a nutty brown. Add the sliced or slivered almonds and stir until just barely toasted. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the pan to cool for a few seconds. Add the lemon juice, parsley and a little salt and pepper and shake the pan to combine. Pour over the trout fillets and serve immediately.
Be prepared for compliments:-)