Spring brings fresh chives, mint and freshly caught trout. Try this family recipe for brook or rainbow trout, for breakfast or for supper. If you don’t eat bacon, no worries. The trout tastes delicious without it.
If you like gravlox, you’ll love this warm salmon—cooked at a low temperature and topped with a spice and herb mixture—as your entrée. Serve with potatoes, which won’t overpower the flavor of the fish. “Hasselback style” potatoes are cut into thin slices. Leave the bottom part attached, and fan open while they are roasted.
Brook Trout With Herbs And Crumbled Bacon(Serves 4)2 12- to 16-ounce fresh brook or rainbow trout, cleaned, boned and filleted
4 slices turkey bacon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Yellow cornmeal, for dusting
Smoked paprika, for sprinkling
2 tablespoons olive oil, for sautéing
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon chives, snipped
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
Lemon wedges, for garnishTo prepare:Ask the fish market to clean and fillet trout, leaving the skin intact.
Carefully run your fingers down the sides to detect any thin bones still in the flesh.
Rinse under cold running water and pat dry.
Gently score the skin with two or three slits to prevent curling.
Sauté the bacon in a heavy skillet over moderate high heat until it is brown and crisp on both sides.
Transfer to paper towels and pat dry.
Add just enough oil to coat the bottom of the same skillet.
Heat until nearly smoking.
Pour about 1/2 cup of cornmeal on a plate or shallow dish.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Coat both sides of the fillet with cornmeal.
Pat off the excess.
Sprinkle both sides with paprika.
Lower the fillet into the pan, placing the skin side down.
Press down on the top of the fillet with a flat spatula.
Hold for 30 to 45 seconds until the skin is set.
Continue to sauté, about 2 to 3 minutes, until golden brown.
Turn the fillet over and brown the other side, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Immediately transfer to a hot platter and place in warm oven.
Continue until all fillets are cooked.
Melt butter in a small saucepan.
Stir in chives and parsley.
Cook, stirring often, until you see brown specks.
Arrange fillets on a platter, drizzle a spoonful of herb butter over each fillet and top with bacon.
Garnish the platter with lemon wedges and serve at once.Seared Salmon With Spring Herbs And Spices(Serves 4)Herbs:
2 tablespoons chives, snipped
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
3 cups fresh spearmint, finely chopped
1/3 cup dill, finely chopped
Salt and spices:
1½ teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground white pepper
For the salmon:
4 5-ounce fillets of salmon with skin
Kosher salt, for searing
Finely ground white pepper and salt, for dusting
A few drops of extra virgin olive oilTo prepare:Mix together chives, parsley, mint and dill in a small bowl.
Blend salt, cayenne, cardamom, nutmeg and white pepper in another bowl.
Preheat the oven to 225°F.
Sprinkle kosher salt into a large, oven-proof skillet.
Place over medium-low heat.
Add salmon, skin side down.
Press firmly down with a spatula until the skin is set.
Sauté until crispy, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Season the flesh side with a dusting of pepper and salt.
Drizzle a few drops of olive oil on the salmon.
Transfer the skillet to preheated oven.
Bake until it looks rare in the middle and fully cooked on the outside edges, about 5 minutes.
Remove salmon from the pan.
Arrange the fillets on warm plates.
Sprinkle with mixed herbs, salt and the spice mixture.New Red Potatoes, Hasselback Style(Serves 4)6 medium red skinned potatoes, scrubbed
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to tasteTo prepare:Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place the potatoes on a cutting board.
Cut a narrow, lengthwise slice from the bottom of each potato.
Discard the slice.
Place two long-handled wooden chopsticks on each side of the potato lengthwise.
Vertically cut each potato into 1/4-inch-thick crosswise slices with a sharp knife (The chopsticks will prevent the knife from cutting entirely through the potato, leaving the bottom intact).
Drop each finished potato into cold water to prevent discoloring.
Gently flex the potato slices open while rinsing under cold running water.
Dry potatoes well before baking.
Arrange potatoes on baking sheet pan.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Roast until tender to the point of a fork, about 35 to 40 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve at once with the fish.