Friday, August 30, 2013

Dead Easy Baked Whole Rainbow trout

Danny took this photo because he thought it looked attractive and he couldn't trust me to take a decent photograph. These damn kids today. I have to admit, it is a good photo.

By purchasing this rainbow trout whole, rather than filleted I saved six dollars per pound. For me, the slight inconvenience of sliding the fish from the bone, and removing the skin before serving is well worth it. Really, it took less than a minute of work. If you've never baked a whole fish, rainbow trout is a good place to start as the bones are large enough to spot, and tend to come away cleanly, and intact.

Preparing the fish was a breeze as it had already been gutted and scaled. Scaling a fish is no big deal, you just grab it by the tail, and scrape downward with a knife. Do this step over a sink. You can cut off the head and fins if it freaks you out, but I don't bother.

The recipe I'm giving here is not too complicated. No baking it on a laurel branch, or caking it in a case of salt. I won't even have you fiddling with folding parchment. No, as the tittle claims, this is dead easy to prepare and takes but a mere thirty minutes to cook.

OK everybody, who wants to bake a trout?

You will need:

A whole rainbow trout
Salt and pepper
1 lemon, sliced
3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
1-2 sprigs parsley
A few thyme leaves
White Vermouth

Wash your trout. Lay a large piece of foil on a heavy baking sheet. Butter the foil generously-this will prevent the skin from sticking. Salt and pepper the inside of the fish. Fill the cavity with the remaining ingredients except for the wine. At this point, if you like, tuck a few extra pats of butter inside, though trout is a fairly oily fish and really doesn't require it. This is a sort of guarantee against it becoming dry if you overcook it-but you're not going to overcook it. You're going to do it correctly.

Dribble about an ounce of vermouth over the fish, and seal the packet. Bake about 30 minutes in a 475 degree F. oven. Start checking your fish at 25 minutes-cooking time will vary by the size of your fish, as well as your oven.

To serve:

After everyone has had a chance to see your impressive fish, use a knife to peel away the skin-unless you like it. Some people eat the skin. *Shrug*. Use your knife to gently lift the fish away from the bones. It should slide off easily. Your first few attempts will not yield perfect servings, and some pieces will fall apart. Don't despair. Stick the pieces close together on the plate, and no one will be the wiser, and if they are they won't care. If they do care, tell them to fuck off, and cook for people who don't care, and appreciate someone feeding them.

And that's that. Thirty minutes to a beautiful dinner. I made some potatoes and steamed broccoli to serve with it, but then remembered I had marinated olives in the fridge. A few ripe tomatoes, and torn basil leaves turned into a lovely first course I hadn't planned. Sometimes the best meals come together at the last minute.


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