Thursday, 24 March 2011

Trout with Honeyed Almonds

The SO is finally back from the US, so I took the day off to catch up - we missed our 9th anniversary together by two days so this was lovely recompense. We wandered into town on an amazingly warm spring day, enjoying the sun in sandals and shirtsleeves. From the as-always excellent market, we picked up enough food for the next few days, including two trout from the fishmonger, a rare treat for a midweek supper. They were so fresh they looked almost alive, and when washing them it felt like they were trying to jump out of our hands!

Almonds are a classic accompaniment to trout; here I add a couple of extra ingredients which I recalled went well in the past. Don't neglect the basil; it really does add another dimension of flavour. This would work well served with pasta with a little crème fraîche, or wild rice, or even just a crusty loaf of bread. But after the sun went down, the day became a little cooler, and we decided to split a baked potato to keep ourselves warm. Any greens will do but we used the last of the chard, cooked for minutes in its own juices and pillow-soft.

  • Two whole trout, heads and tail-fins removed if desired
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 thin slices of butter
  • plain flour
  • 100g flaked almonds
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • juice of half a lemon
  • a medium bunch of basil, stalks removed

Clean the trout thoroughly, then dip it in a tray of plain flour and shake off the excess. Heat one of the slices of butter and the tbsp of olive oil in a heavy-based non-stick frying pan, stirring to combine them as the butter melts. When the butter is just popping, lay the two trout in the pan. Fry over a gentle heat for 7 minutes per side, or until the flesh is cooked and falling off the bone.

When the trout are done, place on plates with your accompaniments. Wipe out the non-stick pan with kitchen roll, then drop in the other slice of butter. When this has melted, add the almonds and sautee until they are golden-brown. Meanwhile, combine the honey and lemon juice throughly in a bowl. Pout this mixture over the almonds and switch the heat off. Throw in the basil leaves and stir, allowing the liquid to reduce by about a third. Then pour over the trout, and serve immediately. A glass of white wine would not go amiss :)

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