Wednesday, 21 September 2011


In my last post I promised to tell you how we cooked a trout that we had been given and how it all turned out. We had two frozen fillets that Robert had gotten from a coworker who had been fishing and had caught more than he could eat. Robert and I couldn't agree on how to actually cook them so we decided he would cook one and I would try to cook the other. His effort was first. Unfortunately I didn't think to take photos of his effort for the blog so I didn't have an accompanying graphic or pictures.

So, last weekend we did a rewind and he did his recipe all over again. This mainly occurred, not because I needed pictures for this blog but because someone at work "made" him bring home yet another fillet Friday. I said, sarcastically, "How did.they make you bring it home? Did they put a gun to your head and force you to take it with you?" I mean, we already had one frozen in the fridge that we didn't know what to do with. "No," he said, "they threatened to leave it in my desk to find when I got back to work Monday." Guess you don't mess with some of his co-workers, so we were forced to have trout for Sunday's dinner!

As I said, we had disagreed on the method mainly because he wanted to rely on his old Mrs. Beeton's cookbook that, although updated a bit, is still rather Victorian in its scope. So here's the recipe, from the book: Remember these are British or Imperial measurements:
Mrs. Beeton's Family Cookbook
Trout With Almonds 
(4 Servings-We halved the recipe for the two of us
4 trout
100g butter
salt and pepper
juice of 1/2 lemon
50g flaked blanched almonds
125ml double cream
3 egg yolks
Garnish: parsley sprigs
     Clean the trout and remove the fins. Melt the butter in a grill pan under medium heat. Lay the trout in the pan, season, and sprinkle with lemon juice. Grill for 5 minutes and then turn the fish. Sprinkle the trout with most of the almonds, spread the rest at the side of the and continue grilling for a further 3-5 minutes until the trout are tender and the almonds are browned. Drain the trout and almonds on soft kitchen paper. Put the almonds to one side.
     Mix the cream with the egg yolks and put into a small pan with any juices from the grill pan. Heat gently, stirring well, until thickened; do not let the mixture boil. Lay the trout on a serving dish and spoon the cream sauce over them. Garnish with the reserved almonds and with parsley.

Ok, right away, "clean the trout and remove the fins" put me off. I'm not much of a "roughing it" kind of girl and have never had ANY experience with fish or fishermen. Don't get me wrong, I love fish and seafood but I usually get mine in a restaurant or buy frozen or pre-prepared fish. I've never dealt with a whole fish, fins and all and it sort of makes me queasy. Growing up far away from the ocean in Ohio our idea of seafood was fish sticks (or fish fingers as they call them here) or tuna in a can. Luckily, the man who gave us the fish had already taken off the fins and had gutted it, etc. but there were quite a bit of bones left in it that Robert removed before he cooked it. I touched it after it had thawed and it felt slimy to me! 

Our trout with lemon on the side

Chef in the Kitchen!
As usual, Robbie's style of cooking is pretty much like most men: get out every pan in the house and scatter things all over the kitchen. He wanted boiled potatoes (he thinks a meal isn't a meal without "tatties") to go with it but I get tired of potatoes so, trying to stay out of his way, I made some rice and peas because I get tired of potatoes. 
Some of the pans used on the stove
The first time he made it he left the skin on but this time, after it was cooked he tried to remove the skin and as many bones as he could before serving which made the finished product look a little less attractive since it fell apart a bit. 
The finished trout without the sauce
My plate with rice & peas. More colorful than Robbie's with boiled potatoes!

The recipe, all in all, turned out to be really nice and the trout was a mild fish, almost on the lines of salmon. When I read the recipe I thought the sauce would almost be like a custard because of the egg yolks but it turned out to be quite nice and with the almonds and parsley it was all very tasty!
The only thing I didn't like were the bones. I may be fussy and a bit precious but I can't stand the feel of fish bones in my mouth! It gives me the willies; like having a hair in my mouth! There was almost no way to remove all the bones so that rather spoiled it a bit for me but the fish did have a good taste. We were also watching a documentary about Medieval Britain while we were eating and they were talking about times of famine and plague so I felt I'd better be grateful for any food and not complain!

The adventure will continue because we still have one more fillet in the freezer but I think it will wait for a while before we try again with a different method. I think our fish for this week will be fish and chips on Friday as usual! . 
Fish & Chips with Brown Sauce from our local chippy. 

Local Chippy's bag. It says "Fish & Chips, Real Food" Just noticed also there's a Pimm's ad on the TV in the back!

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