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Seared Trout

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Posted: Saturday, May 4, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 12:44 pm, Tue May 27, 2014.

Prepare Fish With Confidence

Instructor Chef Brian O'Malley at Metropolitan Community College introduces our culinary series with a recipe for pan-seared trout – an often misunderstood entree. “Trout is accessible, and searing is easy,” O'Malley says.

Farm-raised trout frequently is featured in culinary competitions at Metropolitan Community College's Institute for the Culinary Arts. “The students go to the trout farm, catch the fish and prepare it,” the chef instructor says.

The seared trout and pea puree entree featured here can be served alone. Chefs aspiring for a more complex dish can dress the fish with additional sauces, such as rich and buttery Beurre Blanc, Chive Oil or Fennel Tomato Ragout with licorice-like high notes.

SEARED TROUT

Serves: 4

WHAT YOU NEED

4 each steelhead

or rainbow trout

fillets, with skin

Kosher salt, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons

vegetable oil

4 tablespoons butter

Sea salt, to tasteTHE STEPS

WHAT YOU DO

1. Score the fish by making several shallow slashes in the skin about 1 inch apart. Season fillets liberally with kosher salt and black pepper.

2. Heat a pan, large enough to hold the 4 fillets, over high heat. Add the oil to the hot pan. When the oil begins to simmer, add the fillets, skin-side down.

3. Cook the fillets over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Add the butter.

4. Spoon melted butter over the fillets, cooking briefly, until the skin becomes crispy and fish flesh is opaque.

5. Flip the fillets and briefly cook the flesh side, no more than 1 minute. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste.

6. Serve fillets with Pea Puree, Fennel Tomato Ragout or Beurre Blanc and Chive Oil.

PEA PUREE

2 cups water

Kosher salt, to taste

6 ounces frozen peas

½ cup heavy cream

3 tablespoons butter

1. In a small pot over high heat, add the water and a pinch of salt. Heat until boiling. Add peas and reduce heat to simmer until peas are soft, about 8 minutes. 2. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add cream and butter. Heat until the mixture simmers. 3. Drain the peas. In a blender, puree the peas. While pureeing, slowly add the cream/butter

mixture. Puree until smooth.

4. Season with salt to taste.

BEURRE BLANC

WHAT YOU NEED

¼ cup white wine

2 tablespoons champagne vinegar

½ small shallot, finely chopped

1 tablespoon heavy cream

2 whole black peppercorns

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

To taste kosher salt

WHAT YOU DO

1. In a medium saucepan over high heat, reduce the wine by bringing it to a brief boil.

2. Add the vinegar, shallots, cream and peppercorns. Over medium heat, reduce slightly.

3. Remove from heat. Add the cubed butter, whisking ferociously to emulsify.

4. Season to taste with salt. Pass through a fine mesh strainer, reserving sauce.

5. Dress the fish with the Beurre Blanc sauce.

FENNEL TOMATO RAGOUT

WHAT YOU NEED

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 bulb diced fennel, cleaned, trimmed and middle stalk removed

½ cup, or as needed chicken stock

½ shallot, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

4 tablespoons butter, cubed

To taste kosher salt

WHAT YOU DO

1. In a small saute pan over high heat, heat the oil. Add the fennel and saute, allowing it to slightly caramelize. Season with salt.

2. Add chicken stock and let reduce at medium/low heat. Saute until the fennel is softened and brown, about 12 minutes.

3. Add shallots and saute until translucent and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds. Remove from heat.

3. Add tomato and butter. Stir gently, without breaking the butter, until the tomatoes and butter have melted into the fennel.

4. Serve the fish over a serving of the Fennel Tomato Ragout.

CHIVE OIL

WHAT YOU NEED

½ cup vegetable oil

Small bunch chives

WHAT YOU DO

1. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.

2. Add chives. Heat for 2 minutes to allow chive flavor to infuse into oil.

3. In a blender, pulse the chive/oil mixture until the chives are dispersed into the oil.

3. Use a coffee filter to strain the mixture into a small bowl to remove any chive pieces.

4. Dress the fish with the Chive Oil.

***

WHERE TO BUY TROUT

Blue Valley Aquaculture, Sutton, Neb.

Whole Foods

Absolutely Fresh Seafood

Trader Joe's

***

DINNER OUT

Experience fine dining with MCC's students and chefs at the Sage Student Bistro. When: Monday-Thursday, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. when classes are in session. Where: Institute for the Culinary Arts, Fort Omaha campus, 32nd Street and Sorensen Parkway. Reservations and info: www.mccneb.edu/bistro

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