Spring is a creative time -- for me as well as for the flora and fauna around me. This Food52 contest inspired me to get my creative cooking game on. Instead of yanking a recipe from my repertoire, I used my fridge as my palette, and aimed to paint a new culinary work of art (or so I hoped :). I've always tried to cook with seasonal ingredients, although lately, with all of the emphasis on this concept, I try harder, eschewing tomatoes in May, since I live in NY, and instead reaching for rhubarb. I am lucky enough to have my own very prolific rhubarb patch. My spring fridge also has fiddleheads, spring onions, trout, among other vernal ingredients.
I like to cook rhubarb as a vegetable sometimes, since, after all, it is a vegetable. I julienne it and saute it in butter and use it as a foil for fish, chicken, duck, or lamb. It is the surprise in this recipe's medley. Keep 1/2 of the rhubarb and onions out of the cream. They are the perfect color of spring as they are -- delicate pink and pale green juliennes showered over the trout. Daffodils would be a nice addition to the table. Enjoy! —EatArt
whole brook trout, cleaned, scaled
almond meal (finely ground almonds)
large stalks of rhubarb (or 4 small stalks), cut into fine 2" long julienne
spring onions or scallions, whites and greens,, cut into fine 2" long julienne
Melt 1 tbsp butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add spring onion julienne and saute for 1 minute. Add rhubarb and saute an additional 1 minute. Remove from pan. Add 1/2 Tbsp butter to pan, add fiddleheads and saute for an additional minute. Remove from pan and keep separate. All veggies should be crisp tender. Remove from pan.
Mix together almond meal and a pinch of salt in a dish. Put egg whites in another dish. Dip trout in egg whites then roll trout in flour mixture to coat.
Melt 1 tbsp of butter in same skillet over medium high heat. Add thyme leaves. Add trout and saute until first side is crispy, then flip over to crisp the other side (about 2 minutes on each side for small trout). Remove trout from pan and set aside. (tent with foil to keep warm)
Deglaze pan with vermouth. Add zest. Add cream and reduce until slightly thickened. Add 1/2 of the onion rhubarb mixture back into pan and toss to coat in sauce.
Fillet each trout, carefully check for bone booby traps. Place two fillets on each plate. Spoon creamed veggies onto platter, top with trout fillets, then spoon the remaining rhubarb and onions (uncreamed) over the trout. Surround platter with fiddleheads, and serve. Recipe can be easily multiplied so more people can have a spring fling. Put a bunch of daffodils in a vase on your table and Enjoy!