Recipe 16 is Pan-fried Trout Fillets with Balsamic Glazed Vegetables

Recipe 16 represents a true trout triumph.  Born & bred on a trout farm and raised on meals consisting all too frequently of trout, husband Olly was somewhat apprehensive about the Trout Blog Challenge.  His primary fear was that a return of excess trout in his diet might re-activate a  childhood apathy towards one of the most versatile and healthy fish products on the market.  That, plus a day-to-day interaction with live trout on the farm, was a worrying combination.

However, I am thrilled and delighted to announce that after a mere 15 recipes Olly’s taste buds and culinary curiosity were sufficiently tweaked to induce him to not only suggest the form and content of recipe 16 but to also to take control of the cooking and the delivery, with a small exception being the trout preparation which was outsourced to me.

The result was a triumph: caper and lemon juice marinaded trout fillets gently fried and served on a bed of balsamic glazed vegetables, with the rich flavour of the vegetables perfectly balanced by the  clean subtle taste of the caper and lemon flavoured trout fillets.

We used fillets from small trout (approx 450g or 1lb each) the filleting of which was a first for me since I usually fillet much larger trout around two or three kilos.  However, with helpful Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s advice at my finger tips I couldn’t go too far wrong and was delighted to have the left over carcass to make trout stock with ready for my next fish pie, trout cakes, soup, or whatever it may be.

helpful Hughs filleting tips

First we prepared the vegetables.   The wonderful thing about doing roast veg is that you can use pretty much whatever you have to hand, with the essential staple being onions.  By lucky coincidence we happened to conjure up onion, aubergine and sweet potato though in a perfect world I might have added green pepper to complete the colour scheme.

trout recipe roast veg ingredients

In order to retain the shape of the onion slices we mixed the diced aubergine and sweet potato with the olive oil, mixed herbs and salt and paper in the roasting dish and only at the last minute added the onion slices – a little trick learnt from Michel Roux Jnr on Tuesday night.  Once the onion slices had been carefully placed we then drizzled the balsamic vinegar over the vegetables and put them into a hot oven for 45 minutes.

trout recipe balsamic veg

Meanwhile Olly was working wonders with his trout fillets by creating a fresh lemon juice, capers and salt and pepper marinade for the trout to infuse for 20 minutes or so while the roast veg slowly cooked away.

Olly marinading trout

marinaded trout fillets

Once confident the roast veg were almost there (if using sweet poato they are usually the final litmus test, in my opinion they are best when crisp and crunchy on the outside and sweet and soft on the inside) we pre-heated a tea spoon of olive oil in a wide non-stick frying pan.  Once the olive oil was hot and almost beginning to smoke we added the trout fillets skin-side down.  We didn’t turn the fillets half way through but instead watched the soft pink colour of the cooked trout miraculously work its way up from the bottom edge of the fillets to the top edge, allowing us to see exactly when they were cooked through and to prevent over-cooking them.

Olly checking the trout fillets

balsamic veg out of the oven

We then simply served the fillets on a bed of the roast vegetables (taking care not to break up the onion slices when handling), added a slice of lemon juice and happily devoured.

pan fried fillet with balsamic veg

Marks out of 10

Ease of preparation:  7/10 – less instant than some of my trout recipes as you do need to prep the vegetables
Healthiness: 6/10 – there is olive oil involved in roasting the veg and frying the trout
Taste: 9/10 – overall a really good recipe, and as requested by some of my fairer paletted readers, not a hint of chilli


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