Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Idaho trout with macque choux and Meyer lemon beurre blanc

Since I split a half a pig with Matt, I had to pull a lot of shit out of the freezer to make room. Miraculously, my already-packed freezer could fit a quarter hog. Must be my mad Tetris skills.

I always buy seafood several pieces at a time, when the hankering hits hard, but then I cook one piece (or don't) and the rest has to go to the freezer. This time, one had to come out. This little brown paper package contained two trout fillets.

Some astute readers will notice my flagrant substitution of fingerling potatoes for bell peppers, making this a mountebank macque choux, but don't hate. I didn't think to call this macque choux until I got to writing it up. Besides, macque choux literally translates as "brakes cabbages", making potatoes the least of this dish's problems. I don't know (I've been saying that a lot lately, haven't I). I just kind of knew how this was supposed to taste and named it later.

I sliced these giant banana fingerling potatoes and gave them a hot water bath to parcook, then drained and pan-fried them with minced shallot in olive and rendered bacon (the first taste of the pig, and it's good). When they started to brown up on the edges, I tossed in a cup of frozen white corn and halved grape tomatoes. Then a squonch of chopped thyme and Meyer lemon zest, crunches of flaky sea salt and black pepper. Let it get brown and crusty, and then pull everything out of that pan, turn off the heat and deglaze with half the lemon's juice and a splash of white wine. Whisk in a couple knobs of butter until creamy-dreamy. That's your sauce, baby.

Now just rinse and pat dry the trout fillets, and salt and pepper the flesh side. Get the pan pretty hot (not quite rippin', but hot), and lay the fillets in skin-side down. Now the most important step: walk away from the pan for a few minutes and don't fuck with it. It'll take all of your strength to not poke it or try to move it, but you gotta just leave that shit be.

Okay now you can flip it. Turn off the pan (the pan is still hot enough to cook the other side of the fish, so don't freak out). Stir a sexy little wad of crème fraîche into the macque choux, then stir in the beurre blanc and a few fatty pinches of chopped parsley. Top the wee piles of sweet-crunchy/dense-crusty/tangy-juicy with a crispy trout fillet.

You know you're dying to, so go ahead and throw some crunchy pinches of sea salt at it.

Serve with a bright chard and smug self-satisfaction.

22 comments:

Brittany said...

Meyer lemons with trout is awesome. I didn't know that until just recently. We're serving a fennel & meyer lemon stuffed trout @ the restaurant right now.

This looks even better because it's got that sexy little bed of deliciousness to lounge on.
...and of course, you had me at "wad of creme fraiche"...

Foodycat said...

Beautiful fish! Next time Paul manages to catch one, I know what I'll be doing with it. Assuming I can get a meyer lemon, which is a pretty big assumption in the UK.

Elra said...

You really know how to dress up the humble fish...
Cheers,
Elra

Lo said...

Mad Tetris skills, huh?
Yeah, that does come in handy when rennovating the freezer space :)

As for the fishes... this looks pretty amazing to me. Particularly the fingerlings. You could always call it Mock Choux :)

Smug satisfaction, indeed. Totally deserved.

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

I think my (in game) tetris skills have gotten better since I moved into a shoebox Manhattan apartment from a house that was almost 3x the size.

Heather said...

Brittany - I still have half a box of satsumas to use up, but couldn't resist new citrus.

Alicia - You could use other citrus, I reckon.

Elra - I grew up eating trout fried in cornmeal, so it wasn't hard to improve. :)

Lo - Damn skippy. And "mock choux" is very clever. Veeerrrry clever.

Marc - I bet your Grand Theft Auto and Street Fighter skills have improved, too.

Hunter Angler Gardener Cook said...

Always a big fan of the pork-seafood combo. Very Portuguese...

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

I never freeze fish and I don't know why! This looks incredible and trout is my fave!

glamah16 said...

Very nice fish. And the Meyer lemon touch I can just imagine.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

NOM NOM. I love the meyer lemon touch! And trout is a inner for sure!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

I mean, WINNER...argh!

abadeeba said...

Frozen poisson... you are a brave mothafucka. I like all the frenchness in the language. No time to type, but I continue to find time to read. I save it for the good stuff however. You're good... you're good.

Núria said...

The dish sounds superb Heather! I never froze a trout before, though... does its taste and texture remain the same as when fresh? There's some fishes that don't keep all their properties... as hake for example. What do you think?

Peter G said...

Trout is not really a big favourite of mine but you've done wonders here Heather...love it!

Peter M said...

Heathz, highlight, put in BOLD CAPS that paragraph about not touching a fish.

So many people wreck a pan-fried or seared protein with their impatience.

I'm sure you cursed like a pirate but you came up with a stellar result.

matt wright said...

YUM. Creme Fraiche just makes everything great, not that this dish needed it!

I hate pan shakers.. especially those that insist on shaking the pan with fish.

Love the flavors going on here.. Never had meyer lemon with trout, but now you mention it, it just seems perfect.

Manggy said...

Oh, AWESOME. There ain't nearly nuff seafood in the blog universe. Thank you for more than making up for that.
Hmm, isn't it "macaque" choux? Eerk, bad joke.

Weird captcha: quistion

Heather said...

Hank - If only pigs could swim.

Judy - Fresh is always best, but I'd rather freeze than let it go to waste.

Courtney - The Meyer lemon really set it off, little beauties.

Jenn - I now hat ou eant. ;)

Abaetetuba - It's good to be good. I'll try to keep making it worth your while.

Núria - Salmonids (salmon and trout) freeze and thaw like a dream. I think they're fatty and firm enough to withstand it.

Petah - Trout is what I grew up eating, so I guess it grew on me.

Peter the Greek - I didn't have to curse, because I knew not to touch it before I wrote about it. :P

Matt - Fish is so delicate! Why would you shake a pan of it?!

Marky - There really isn't enough seafood in the bloggyverse, is there. Much love to the seafood.

we are never full said...

very nice. usually when i find frozen fish that i take out of a brown paper bag i get skeeved out by the thought of eating it. i'm not sure why i have this phobia, but i do.

i'll play your ass at tetris any day. drunk or sober.

wait, jonny's sitting next to me and as i typed that he just told me that his father (who is basically like an autistic nerdo chemist) friggin BEAT the game of tetris. i had no idea you can beat tetris, but he has. now you know something about jonny.

Traci said...

YUM YUM YUM! Me LOVES trout! And Meyer lemons...

Jude said...

brakes cabbages? I don't get it. I feel like such a rube.

cook eat FRET said...

of all the things you've posted lately - this is what i want the most.