If you follow me on Instagram (don’t follow me yet? Click on the Instagram link on the top right hand side of the screen to do so. And why not join me on Facebook and Twitter while you’re at it?!), you will have noticed that my husband and I took the kids to the local trout farm to go “fishing” today.
They had a blast.
Anyone know a sure-fire way to get a 3-year-old to eat fish? Let him catch it!
I personally love fish. No, wait. Let me rephrase that. I love FRESH fish. (I’m from Seattle, what can I say? You get used to the good stuff!) Living in Utah, it can be hard to find good, fresh fish. Catching your own and cooking it less than an hour later ensures that it’s perfect.
Fish should NOT have any kind of “fishy” smell.
Period. If it does, it’s not fresh and isn’t going to taste good. (And might make you sick!)
Trout has a very mild flavor, so, how you choose to cook it makes a big difference in what kind of flavor you will get.
I decided on a very simple french cooking method called en papillote. It means “in parchment.” Basically, you enclose whatever food you are cooking in parchment paper and then bake the packets. The parchment catches the steam and thus, steams your food, keeping whatever you are cooking nice and moist. In this case, our fish.
While trying to decide how to serve the fish, my son asked for a plum and inspiration struck! A plum chutney would be awesome on this! And so tonight I give you: ”Fresh Provincial Trout and a Spicy Honey Plum Sauce.” I chose to pair it with some asparagus cooked simply in butter, salt and pepper.
4 small to medium fresh whole trout
2 lemons sliced into rounds
1/4 cup (1/2 a stick) butter, cut into cubes
optional: 2 tbsps bacon grease
for the dry rub
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp herbs de provence
1 tsp onion granules
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
Mix all the spices for your dry rub together. Place you whole fish on a piece of parchment paper 2-3 inches larger than your fish. Rub the inside of the fish with 1/2 tbsp of the bacon grease (if using), then stuff it with a 1/4 of the cubed butter and 2-3 lemon slices. Liberally sprinkle the inside and outside of your fish with the dry rub, lay 2-3 more lemon slices on top of your fish, then sprinkle more salt and pepper on the outside of your fish.
It will look like this:
Now, wrap and seal your fish in the parchment paper. Here is a great video on how to do that.
Put your fish in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes.
They will look like this when they come out:
While your trout are cooking, prepare your Spicy Honey Plum Chutney.
3 large plums
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 whole chili (I used a jalapeño)
2-3 tbsps honey (depending on how sweet your plums are)
salt and pepper to taste
In a large pan, melt the butter then add the shallots. Cook them on medium to medium high until lightly browns and toasty(5-10 minutes.) This caramelizes the them and makes them sweet. While the shallots are cooking, de-pit and thinly slice your plums into half moons. Once the shallots are carmelized, add the plums and the whole chili (do NOT cut it up!! We will be removing it at the end of cooking.) to the pan. Add the honey, salt and pepper and sauté for 4-5 minutes until the plums are soft, but not falling apart. Remove and discard the chili.
Once your trout are done cooking, pull them out of the oven and open the packets! (This is a fun step!)
Pretty no? Serving them in the parchment makes for a pretty presentation when you have company.
But, since it was just us, and the kids wouldn’t know what to do with it if I gave them a whole fish, I removed the lemons and skin and then gently peeled the flesh off the bones. It will come off very cleanly, leaving the bones behind. (I actually prefer a whole trout for this reason. Easy bone removal = Happy Maleah!)
Place the fish on a plate and top with a generous amount of the chutney. Serve with your choice of veggies. (The asparagus was pretty good with this.)
Serves 2 adults and 2 (small) children, with leftovers.