Saturday, September 10, 2011

Spring Zing - Rainbow Trout

During the week we visited the fishmonger, with the intention of choosing some nice fillets of something or other to cook on the BBQ that night. Looking at all the different fish they had for sale, the one that really stood out were beautiful, glossy and super fresh rainbow trout. I couldn't go past how great they looked and decided to ditch the fillet idea and bought two of them, one for each of us to have whole. The fish were about 30cm long. They were scaled and cleaned by the fishmonger to make the prep work at home easy. Rainbow Trout has such delicious pink and flavoursome flesh, similar to Salmon and they are ideal for cooking on the BBQ.

Spring is well and truly in the air, so I also bought some new season potatoes and red radishes, and built my accompaniments around them. I wanted a dish that was simple and vibrant, so good fresh ingredients were important. I also added some green herbs, a touch of fennel and plenty of fresh lemon. Very zingy flavours and very spring!

Starting with fresh, in season ingredients

To prepare the fish, I just patted them dry inside and out, and the filled the cavity with sliced red onion, dill, lemon, garlic and fennel. I seasoned the inside with Kampot pepper (fabulous super aromatic black pepper that comes from Cambodia - if you don't have Kampot pepper, normal black pepper is fine) and a little sea salt. To ensure that the flavourings stayed put, I tied each of the fish up with cooking string. The fish were then brushed with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked on the BBQ with the lid on for about 25 minutes. I didn't turn the fish during the cooking process.

Preparing the trout for cooking

While the fish was cooking, I finely sliced cucumber, red onion and radishes and mixed them with a generous handful of parsley and a touch of fresh dill to make a simple, crunch salad. The dressing was simply a drizzle of fruity extra virgin olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and some salt and pepper to season. To finish the accompaniments, I just boiled a few baby Chat potatoes and then tossed them in a little butter and a sprinkling of the fresh dill to finish.

Rainbow Trout with fennel and lemon
served with a crisp radish salad and new potatoes

Once the fish were cooked, they were carefully removed from the BBQ, placed on a bed of the crisp radish salad and served with the potatoes and some extra fresh lemon. Delicious. You could also cook this dish in the oven if you don't have a BBQ with a lid - I would do it in a medium to hot oven for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the fish.

This dish was so simple to throw together and would be a great no fuss spring/summer entertaining idea. Keeping the fish whole really ramps up the flavour and it looks great on the plate - it also makes preparation hassle free. If you aren't familiar with Rainbow Trout, give them a go - they are pretty inexpensive and should be available from most fishmongers at the moment.

In Gourmet Goddess gardening news, I have just planted a whole lot of tomatoes and peppers (the long "bullhorn" kind) that I hope will thrive over the coming months so that we can eat them in the summer. There are also new herbs - two kinds of basil (green basil and the vibrant opal basil, with bright purple leaves) thyme, continental parsley, mint. I have spinach and beetroot (the last of the current harvest which I will pick very soon) as well as carrots, lettuce and lemongrass. In the last week, the nasturtiums have gone crazy - I think I will have plenty to use in salads over spring. The garden is also starting to show colour - masses of pansies in purple and crimson and yellow and the jasmine that I planted a year ago is flowering too. I plan to add a few more spring plants and herbs over the next few weeks. I'm looking forward to plenty of time in the garden to enjoy it all as the plants all wake up from winter hiberbnation.


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