Pan fried trout

Long title.

We ate a lot of trout over the last few months. Its so tasty,  easy to prepare and pretty cheap too. And if you have a three year old, he or she might also like to chat with the fish. Addie sure does. She calls them face fish.

I like to pan fry these little fellers – sometimes after chopping off heads and tails, sometimes just heads as above and sometimes just whole. I usually take out the bones, which is relatively easy but sometimes time consuming – the meat pulls easily off the bones after cooking, but eaters like the ease of just digging right in. Becky Selengut’s Good Fish site has a great video (among many others) to show you how to debone. I can’t remember if she uses fancy pin bone tweezers in that video or not – I don’t have any – so it can definitely be done, but someday I think I’ll grab the tweezers since it does look easier. blah blah blah

Rinse and pat dry the trout before prepping. I usually brush the fish with some olive oil, salt inside, then dredge them in a mixture of cornmeal, salt, pepper and maybe some cayenne pepper. Toss some herbs and maybe some sliced lemon in the middle and fry in a hot oiled pan for a few minutes on each side until the skin is nice and crispy. These are also nice because they seem tough to overcook. If anything I tend to run nearer to undercooking the middle as I often have the stove too hot. I usually turn on the oven in the 350-400 range (often something else is/was in there which determines the temp) and then throw the whole pan in to cook up the middle if needed, or at a lower temp to just keep them warm for a wee bit. In general though these are super handy because you can get them all cleaned up and ready and then cook them up at the last in about ten minutes.

hmmm… I was going to write about the other things I served this trout with, but I seem to have rambled and rambled and rambled so I reckon I’ll save those for another post.


Ravioli with Poached Egg

I think my first  Ravioli with an egg was at Table Bistro down on 28th and Couch-ish here in Portland. It was definitely a neighborhood favorite when Rachel and I lived on 28th. Rachel ordered the ravioli every time we went and finally convinced me to give it a try, though I wasn’t a big fan of runny yolks at that point in my life. The ravioli may have converted me because it is just such a beautiful thing to poke into the noodle and have the egg gently ooze out with the ricotta and chard filling. We’ve also had a super rich and delicious version at Spring Hill up in West Seattle made with a quail egg. Cute.  I followed a recipe from Ethan Stowell’s New Italian Kitchen, also of Seattle.

Essentially just mix a tasty ricotta with some crushed garlic (if you like that sort of thing) and a bit of salt to taste with some blanched chard or whatever tasty green looks delicious at the time. I made some egg pasta, recommended in the book, recipes for pasta are everywhere I reckon. A rolling pasta machine is even surprisingly easy to use – especially compared to the KitchenAid mixer attachment I have used in the past. You can also roll the dough out several times by hand until flat enough if you don’t have a pasta machine.

Lay the pasta out in sheets and pile on the ricotta mixture. Flatten out a divot with a spoon and drop in an egg yolk. I have since seen a recipe that calls for covering the top of the egg with more ricotta, which might help more evenly cook the egg and give it a chance to set a wee bit more without overdoing the pasta. Then cover the top with another strip of the pasta after wetting where the edges will be and seal each ravioli around the ricotta and egg. Cut into the individual pieces and cook for just a few minutes (maybe 3-5).

Also lovely – zucchini blossoms!


Corn on the Cob

We don’t buy corn too often. I think its a psychological complex that developed since pretty much every processed food now has corn and soy in it, so it just seems wrong to go and buy even more corn. But the CSA has delivered corn on the cob for a few weeks, and of course, some good fresh sweet corn is delicious.

Tossing it straight onto the grill has proven super easy, delicious and surprisingly forgiving. I honestly don’t know how long I’ve been throwing them on there – maybe twenty minutes or so. The outside chars prettyily and the inside gets nice and hot without getting soggy and takes on a nice smoky flavor. We have been eating them without anything on them because they are so sweet and tasty grilled. I also threw some on the fire while camping, which worked out okay too, but the husks burned through and started flaking off a wee bit before the corn was fully cooked.


I really like summer

Avocado toast and tomatoes with some fromage blanc was the perfect quick lunch the other day. We have been getting tomatoes steadily from the CSA the past few weeks and even had one turn red in our garden, along with a handful of yellow pear tomatoes – but Addie pretty much picks and eats those before I get my hands on ’em.

The avocado mix is the juice of about one lemon and an equal part olive oil with a wee bit of salt. Mash that up with an avocado and some red pepper flakes and you’re ready to go. Summer is yummy.


Cucumber Soup

 

Rachel is a great maker, and eater, of soups. So when we received a handful of cucumbers from the CSA she was moved to make a chilled cucumber soup. My grandma made a delicious cucumber soup and we have the recipe scratched out on a tiny post-it note so Rachel said I must post about this so we can find the recipe easier next time. The notes say it is a vichyssoise-like creamy soup which makes it pretty dang fancy (sounding) I guess.

It is a super simply soup to make which is especially nice in the summer and doesn’t need to cook too long either.

  • 2 T Butter
  • 1/4 c. chopped onion or leek  – is using an onion I’d suggest a white onion for mildness – you can set it in ice water for a wee bit too to take a little more bite out of it if you want
  • 2 c. diced cucumber
  • 1 c. watercress (opt.)
  • 1 c. diced raw potato
  • 2 c. broth (chicken or veggie)
  • 2 sprigs parsley
  • 1/4 t dry mustard
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 c. cream – to be added just before serving

Saute the onions then add other ingredients and simmer for fifteen minutes. Puree, then chill. Serve with a dollop of cream stirred in. Or maybe some nice thick plain yogurt.

Lovely Rachel!

 


Pickles

We picked a handful of pickling cucumbers when out at the farm the other day amongst the peaches and blueberries and all manner of tastiness. And when I say ‘we,’ I mean, ‘I’ cause dang those pickles is poky – and the bees really love all the blossoms which kind of frightens the ladies around here. Oh well, I suppose come time that means more pickles for me, right? First step to the pickling is layering the pickles with salt and letting them sit overnight. Surprising amounts of water came out of these fellas considering their tough skins.

Next is put them in a jar with a bunch of vinegar. Fortunately I had recently grabbed a new bottle of good white wine vinegar, but alas I chose too big of a jar, or too few cukes I suppose and dumped in some old vinegar that will hopefully be tasty enough. Oh yeah, rinse the cucumbers before throwing them to get all the salt off. I threw in a bunch of tarragon because we have a lot growing and it sounded like a fun idea as opposed to traditional dill. There is also some garlic (from the garden too!) and maybe a splash of some other herbs that were around, but I don’t actually remember now. Oops. Its said that grape leaves help the pickles maintain some crispness – also this cold version should help prevent them from begin soggy. We’ll give them a try in about four weeks.


Tuna Nicoise Salad

I’m not sure the official rules for a Nicoise salad (perhaps only a salad in Nice can qualify). I can’t even keep track of whether I’m capitalizing the titles in these posts are not. Anyhow, this was a recent evening’s version, with some tasty sashimi grade albacore from the Flying Fish Co, a beautifully golden heirloom tomato, green beans, small white potatoes and a hard-cooked egg. Its a bit of a shame that I didn’t pick up some Nicoise olives. Also, I think we were in a hurry to eat and so tossed together an oily dressing, but a nice anchovy spiced creamy dressing was almost certainly the right answer.