Friday, August 3, 2007

Eating In: Stuffed trout

Yesterday afternoon I decided to go to the Red Apple in Madison Park to grab a couple of things for dinner. I wasn't in the mood for the Safeway on Rainier, where, last time I went, a clearly-high-on-something man was explaining to police how he'd just gotten out of prison (including showing them the bag of clothes he'd been given) and shouting "hey ladies, hope you're goin' to the beach to get a tan!" to every unattractive person walking by. So you can understand...this isn't something you're always in the mood for.
Plus, I love the Red Apple in Madison Park--they always have nice produce, pretty's just charming. And since Ruby had just gotten up from a nap I knew the drive wouldn't be hell on wheels. At least on the way there.

So I picked up a trout and decided to stuff it. I made stuffed trout for the first time about 10 years ago. And it was so damn good that I'd meant to do it again but I'm not sure I had until last night. We have so many herbs growing in our pots and our garden--flat-leaf parsley, 2 kinds of basil, tarragon, chives, sage, cilantro, thyme, rosemary, oregano--that I thought I'd just do an herb-lemon stuffing. But this is a pretty standard stuffing and it tastes really good with fresh corn cut off the cob, too. Maybe later this summer I'll do that.

Stuffed Trout:
1 3lb trout
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
3 small or 1 1/2 large stalks celery, finely diced
1 TBS +/- butter
1 TBS +/- olive oil
1 c bread crumbs
1/2 c wine or broth
1/2 c chopped mixed fresh herbs (thyme, basil, chives, tarragon, parsley)--DO NOT USE DRIED
1/2 small lemon, thinly sliced
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Here's our pretty friend pre-stuffing.

Saute the onion, celery and carrot in about a tsp each of butter and olive oil.

Meanwhile, I dried some bread to make breadcrumbs with in the oven (oven was on baking Ruby's sweet potatoes). I think using fresh breadcrumbs makes a HUGE difference compared to store-bought, and it's easy. You can dry the bread (or use old bread if you have any) by baking it in the oven for 15 minutes and then just crumble by hand or cut or use a handy dandy food processor.

The breadcrumbs go into the veggie mix once the veggies are almost tender. Mix them in, adding a tsp or two of butter and seasoning with salt and pepper. It's nice if the bread gets a little browned at this point. Then add a little bit of the wine you're going to drink with dinner (for us this was a Prosecco that I'd meant to put out for our housewarming but forgot) and let the alcohol burn off, cooking a couple of minutes.

Turn off the heat, squeeze the lemon juice in and add the herbs. You do NOT want to cook the herbs.

Lay out a layer of foil on a baking sheet. Place the trout on the foil, season the inside of the trout with salt and pepper, then stuff the trout, allowing any extra to fall outside (this will bake with the trout). Place lemon slices on the stuffing inside the trout and out. Wrap the trout in the foil (doesn't need to be airtight) and place in the oven for 20 minutes.

Remove and let sit for 5 minutes. Then dig in! We had some late-season beets from our garden, some zuchini I'd sauteed and some of Ruby's sweet potato puree to round it out. Deelish.

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