Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Stuffed Rainbow Trout

I have made several whole fish dishes where the recipe calls for stuffing the cavity of the fish with various aromatics like lemons, limes, fresh thyme, basil and other herbs.  This is especially good with larger whole fish like snapper, branzino, and rockfish.  However, it makes less sense with trout.  Generally, "whole trout" have less in the way of bones, which means that they can be eaten as served without taking the time to debone or fillet the fish table-side.  

So, when Clare bought some whole trout, I decided to some up with an edible stuffing that could be cooked inside of the fish.  There were several recipes, but, I decided to do a fairly basic recipe of mushrooms, garlic, onions and breadcrumbs.  The stuffing is sauteed before being added to the trout.  Once the trout is stuffed, there are two options: baked or pan-sauteed.  If you choose the latter, you need some sturdy toothpicks to keep the cavity closed.  I did not have any such toothpicks, so I decided to bake the trout.  I have included both ways -- baking and sauteing -- to prepare the dish.

Recipe adapted from BBC Food and Cooks.com
Serves 2

2 butterflied rainbow trout
1/2 sweet onion, finely diced
8 mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 clove of garlic, finely diced
2 cups of bread crumbs
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh sage, chopped finely
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste

1.  Prepare the stuffing mixture.  Heat the two tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat.  Once the butter has melted, add the onions, mushrooms, thyme and sage.  Season with salt and ground pepper.  Saute the onions, mushrooms and garlic until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms have been cooked, about four to give minutes.  Remove from the heat and strain to remove any remaining liquid.

2.  Prepare the trout.  Season the inside of the trout with salt and pepper.  Stuff half of the mixture into each trout.  Wrap the trout flesh around to seal the stuffing in the cavity.  Use three to four small toothpicks (which have been soaking in water for about five minutes) to hold the flesh together.

3.  Cook the trout.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place trout in buttered baking dish and brush some butter on the sides of the trout.  Cook for twenty-five to thirty five minutes, or until cooked through.  Alternatively, heat the oil in a saute pan on medium high.  Add the trout and fry for about five to six minutes on each side, or until completely cooked through.

4.  Plate the dish.  Plate one trout on each dish.  Add a side dish like a salad. 


This dish is best paired with a white wine. I would focus more on a wine like a Vouvray or an unoaked Chardonnay.    


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