Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sea Trout Poached in White Wine

Continuing the experimentation with fish I had planned to buy some red mullet for a simple recipe from River Café but discovered when I got to Furness that it was £18 a kilo - the same price as veal chops at the Ginger Pig and £4 a kilo more than 45 day aged rump steak which I buy as an occasional treat. Just can't bring myself to pay that much for something I'm a bit uncertain about. Don't think I've ever eaten it even. So I bottled it on the mullet front and bought a couple of silvery sea trout for £3 each. Positive bargain.

Except that I didn't know what to do with them either! Flicked through a few recipes and the general consensus was for poaching. I had already bought tarragon at Booths for the stuffing for Sunday's roast lamb so that seemed like a good herb to add, along with the delicate fern of fennel from the garden and the spray of seeds. The man said slices of onion - he may know more than me so that was in too.

Sea Trout Poached in White Wine
2 very fresh sea trout
1 onion, peeled and very finely sliced
Half a dozen sprigs of fresh tarragon and the same of fennel
Half a teaspoon of fennel seeds
2 tbspn olive oil
200ml white wine
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Wash the fish under a cold tap and pat dry. Put about half the onion and herbs into the cavity of the fish. Pour the olive oil into a baking dish big enough to hold the fish. Strew a little onion and some herbs ino the bottom of the pan then lay the fish on top. Top with the remaining aromatics and season generously. Pour around the white wine and cover the whole lot with foil.

Cook in a moderate/gas 5 oven for about 45-50 minutes. Serve onto warm plates with a little sauce drizzled over and accompanied by some new potatoes and buttered leeks.

They were perfectly cooked and the herbs added flavour and the sauce definitely adding a lift to the dish. I enjoyed it but not entirely - there was a vague muddy note to the fish and it wasn't entirely the kind of flavour and texture combination that I really go for. I liked the sauce the best! If I did make it again I might try the same method with a different fish perhaps. To do it again with this would be for the sake of having fish supper not because I really wanted it.

But I would like to try sea trout differently - wrapped in bacon and barbecued or char-grilled - a smoky crispy note might make them sing (or swim) for me!

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