Life's too short … eat dessert first!
A couple of posts ago, I gave you recipes for Pecan Pirouettes and Sabayon, a lovely, simple dessert that had marked the end of a dinner party we had hosted the week before. But, jeez, Tam, what a cliff hanger! Give us the recipes for the Trout and the Rice!
I heard you and came back today to share those recipes!! This was a great meal for company, but I wouldn't hesitate to serve it to your family either … it is really quite simple to make and doesn't take much time. You might even find that you can whip it up as a week night dinner!
For the rice, you simply measure the amount of rice you need for the number of people you are feeding (I usually make about 3 cups of dry rice for about 6 people and I usually use Jasmine Rice just because I LOVE it!) I use a rice cooker instead of doing it on the stove, but it is certainly not a required piece of machinery. I usually cook my rice in water, but if I know I won't have much of a sauce and want more flavor in the rice, I will cook it in chicken broth (or vegetable broth) which is what I did for this dinner. Then, I added a bit of a French twist to it by sautéing a small shallot in olive oil and adding it to the rice, then throwing in some fresh thyme. The nice thing about a rice cooker is that you can set it to cook and make the rest of your dinner without worrying about it boiling over on your stove because you became so engrossed in the trout preparation! Cleaning up boiled-over rice is NOT my idea of fun, nor is it what I want to do when I'm trying to get dinner on the table! (You can decide how to prepare your rice based on what you are serving it with … makes for an overall pleasing dinner when everything kind of goes together. Kind of like when your shirt matches your pants.)
On to the trout. Most specifically, the Brook Trout with Pecans, Lemon, and Parsley Brown Butter. I found this recipe in the Tribecca Grill cookbook that I picked up at TJMaxx for $5 a little while back. It is full of yummy-looking food and when I make it to NYC some day, I'd like to check out the real place. My husband loves trout so I knew that I had to try this recipe. It has now taken up permanent residence in my recipe arsenal.
The market had trout on sale just in time for my dinner party so things were really looking up! AND the market will fillet them for free, which I totally took them up on because I'd rather have filleted fish than scrambled fish and my filleting skills are lacking to the point where I would mutilate the poor things before they ever got to meet up with the pecans and butter. That's not a fate I would assign ANYONE or THING to!
- 2 lemons, zested and juiced
- 1 ½ cups plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans (Use a food processor if you have one.)
- 1 ½ cups Italian-seasoned bread crumbs (if you only have plain, don't panic! Just add a little dried basil and oregano!)
- ¾ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
- Six 10-ounce brook trout, cleaned and boned with head and tail removed
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- ½ cup peanut oil (Peanut Oil is called for because of its high burn level. However, I used olive oil and turned my pan down just a bit.)
- 1 cup (2 sticks unsalted butter)
Combine the pecans with the bread crumbs and ¼ cup of the parsley on a large plate. Season the flesh AND skin sides of the trout with salt and pepper to taste, then working with one fillet at a time, press the flesh side into the pecan mixture to make a thin coating.
Preheat the oven to 375˚. Lightly grease a cookie sheet and set aside.
Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. When it gets hot, add the trout fillets and sear to set the crust. Turn and sear the other side. Work in batches if necessary to sear all the fillets, then place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake the trout for about 7 minutes or until cooked through.
While the trout is baking, melt the butter in a nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Watch it carefully and lower the heat if necessary. Allow the butter to foam and turn golden brown. Immediately add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. While the butter is still foaming, add the remaining pecans and parsley. Do not allow the butter to burn!
Pour the Parsley Brown Butter over the trout, or do what I did and serve it along side so each person can serve themselves.
I served Thymed Rice, of course, but an assortment of fresh, steamed or roasted vegetables (such as asparagus, zucchini, carrots, peppers, cherry tomatoes) would accompany this just as well.
As for the salad I served … I used Butter Lettuce, also known as Boston Bibb. It's very tender and mild and is my favorite lettuce. I dressed it simply with olive oil and sea salt. That's all. Really. It's delicious! I spread fresh Goat Cheese on small rounds of baguette and toasted them in the oven till the cheese melted a bit and the bread was starting to get a little brown. I make no apologies for being a simple gal.
So there you have it! The entire menu for a dinner party! NOW … go plan one and have fun!