(this guy here is Maury and the other is Othello)
Well, yes, I said it. I'm a trout virgin, or was rather. I don't count the tiny nibble of smoked trout I had off my husband's salad, some 11 years ago on our honeymoon as a true experience. I've never been adventurous with fish. But the other night that all changed.
At our weekly visit to Whole Foods, the hubs and I came across some whole, fresh, beautiful rainbow trout. They are farmed in Idaho, but under the strict guidlines of WF. So, no worries. We had him leave the heads on, (for a treat for the hubs. Yes, he likes the cheeks and eyeballs) and everything else intached. The fishmonger assured me that after they are cooked, you can just pull the back bone right out and it will come out beautifully. Okay, that sounds fun. I'm all in.
I decided to stuff them with lemon slices, fresh parsley and fresh basil. I seasoned the cavity with salt and pepper and the outside. I kinda wish I would have been a bit more liberal with the seasoning.
I also wished I would have cut the heads off and cooked them separately so the fishies would have fit in the pan better, but it worked out.
I let them rest for a while after they cooked then after I cut the heads off, I held onto the back bone at the top and just like the fishmonger said, it slid right out! All of it! It was like biology class meets cooking class. Did I mention I loved biology? It was really fun. I showed the trout spine to the kids and they just looked at me like, "Um, okay?" So I just marveled at it myself.
The flavor and texture of trout is so fantastic! I was pleasantly surprised. It's meatier than I expected, super mild and so tender and juicy. I loved the basil in there. It really lifted the flavors and was something different from the usual lemon and dill combo.
My mom was at the stove sling some hash too. She made some luscious bok choy to go with it. She simply seared it in olive oil and then braised it with some chicken broth. It went so well with the fish and made for a healthy meal, even the kids liked.
2 whole trout equaling about 2 1/2 lbs. total
2 tbls. olive oil
salt and pepper
4 big sprigs basil
2 big handfuls parsley
1 lemon thinly sliced
Heat up pan to med. high. Add oil. Season fish liberally inside and out. Stuff cavity with lemon and herbs. Cook for approx. 5 min on each side. Carefully flip so as not to tear up the skin or loose the goodies inside the fish. Let the fish cool slightly before removing spine.
While the fish is cooking, make your Bok Choy!
3-4 baby bok choy
1 tbls. olive oil
salt and pepper
1/2 c. chicken broth
1 tbls. butter
Get your pan smoking hot. Add olive oil. Cut your bok choy in half, leaving the core intach and season. Sear on cut-side down for 2-3 minutes. Turn and add chicken broth. Cover and let cook until bok choy is tender, about 10 minutes.
This was such a fun and adventurous meal for me to make and something everyone loved. Trout Virgin no more! Cheers, Friends!