July 13, 2008

Food: Dish is Trout of This World

By Michael Kilkie of the Jefferson Restaurant

The more you learn about a subject, the less of a fear it will hold for you - and that goes for food and cooking too.

If you build up knowledge about ingredients and techniques, when you cook and shop for food it will be easy and fun, not something to worry and panic about.

You will be able to improvise and experiment - and won't have to stick rigidly to a recipe. You can buy something seasonal on the spur of the moment or try something you've never had before with a handful of ingredients lying around the kitchen.

Today's recipe is a great example of this - a delicious piece of sea trout I picked up on offer in the supermarket teamed with ingredients I had in the house to make a great light summer dinner.

Because sea trout tastes like salmon, it is often called salmon trout.

It is a fresh water, brown trout that has gone to sea. Its flesh is slightly less pink than a salmon but they look similar. Size is the main difference but a large sea trout will look very like a small salmon.

Sea trout can be cooked in the same ways as salmon. It's delicious poached and served hot or cold. It's also great roasted.

But for today's recipe I've pan fried it, cooking it most of the way through, skin side down, in the pan to give a crisp skin, which I love. You can remove the skin before or after cooking if you prefer but you lose a lot of flavour and texture.

In summer, I like something lighter than the traditional veg and potatoes. Today's fresh salsa is all that is needed for a light summer lunch or evening meal.

If you want to bulk it up, new potatoes - boiled or sauteed - go well.

A bit of dressed rocket on top of the fish at the last minute also works well, adding a bit of pepperiness to the finished dish, as does a little drizzle of good quality olive oil.

Only practice will help you learn how to cook fish perfectly.

Because of the colour of its flesh, sea trout is quite easy to cook, changing from orange to rosy pink.

After a few minutes' cooking, look at the side of the fish.

When nearly all the flesh is pink and there's just a bit of orange, remove the fish from the heat and allow it to rest for a minute or two.

The residual heat in the fish will finish the last bit to perfectio


Serves 4 4 sea trout fillets about 175g in weight n1 tbsp olive oil Salt and pepper

For the salsa 1 packet cherry tomatoes on the vine, removed and halved or quartered depending on the size 1 red onion, finely chopped 1 red chilli, finely chopped Large handful coriander, chopped Juice and zest of 1 lime 1 tsp caster sugar 1 tbsp oliveoil


Place the salsa ingredients in a pan and warm it gently for 5 min to allow the flavours to infuse. Don't allow it to boil - remove from the hob.

Heat the oil in a pan, season the fish on both sides and cook the fish, skin side down, for 3-4 min. Turn over and heat for another minute until cooked through .Times will differ depending on size (see main piece on the right to tell when it's done).

Split the salsa between four plates or bowls and place a trout fillet, skin side up, on top. If you like, place dressed rocket on top and drizzle the plate with good quality olive oil.

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