Friday, April 18, 2008

Steelhead Trout with Braised Fennel and Sweet Red Onion

I have become a big fan of trout.

I didn’t know that it is a member of the salmon family. Makes sense when you think about it. The sweet buttery taste and the ability to adapt to lots of recipes is most definitely a characteristic of this fish. Steelhead trout starts out as a freshwater fish and moves to life in the ocean at maturity, feeding on tiny shrimp, and coming back to the freshwater after several years to “swim upstream and spawn.”

Interesting tidbit here, they can do this more than once.

I love a fish with a plan.

Perfectly Seared Steelhead Trout Fillets

Preheat oven to 400.

Heat a cast iron skillet on top of the stove. Add a good swirl of extra virgin olive oil.
Put two nice sized fillets of steelhead trout in the pan skin side down.
Cook until skin is crispy, takes about three minutes or so.
Put the pan in the oven for 5-7 minutes til trout is done.

Serves 2.

Braised Fennel with Sweet Red Onion

1 bulb fennel, sliced about ¼ inch thick julienne
½ large sweet red onion, sliced thinly
½ cup plus chicken stock
2 tsp sherry vinegar
Juice of one blood orange
2 tbsp finely diced blood orange zest
A couple of good swirls extra virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat a large cast iron skillet over moderate heat and add a couple of good swirls of extra virgin olive oil. When the oil shimmers, add the red onion and the fennel and let them cook a good while, about ten to fifteen minutes til they are golden and caramelizing. Add the sherry vinegar, the blood orange juice and turn up the heat.

Let that cook down a bit and then add the chicken stock., turn the heat down so the mixture bubbles along, reducing as it goes and add the zest. Season with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Serves 2.



Peter M said...

Trout IS fantastic but the braised fennel is out of this world!

Anonymous said...

That's a great combination! Steelhead trout is beautiful but how you match it with fennel and sweet red onion is just perfect.

RecipeGirl said...

I've always avoided trout for some reason. I don't think I've ever tasted it! I thank you for telling us that it's part of the salmon family though because I just love salmon. Maybe it's time to give trout a try!

Kim said...

Mary, I am not a big fan of trout, but you might have just changed that for me. Especially since I love a man with a plan. A fish with a plan has to be that much better. Looks divine!

Mary Coleman said...

Peter: This combo is one of those meals that makes you speechless and pointing at the food on your dining companions's plate!

Zen: Thank you so much!

Lori and Kim: I was not a big fan of trout for such a long time. I hate it when my mother is right about something. She's been saying I told you so for several months!
Try it, please. You will love it.
And I won't say I told you so!

Anonymous said...


Fortuntely, for those of us who live in the land of frozen fish, this recipe will work just fine for salmon (and prolly tuna or mako). They have landlocked salmon in Lake Ontario and only tourists would want to eat them once they start to spawn.

I'm reading, "Why Pandas Do Handstands" (Augustus Brown, Free Press/Simon and Schuster) right now and it has a bit about salmon and their spawning. The males fight for the females and the females fight for nesting sites. At the end, all worn out, both males and females die. Of course this book also contains some information about homosexual necrophilia amongst mallards--I'm serious.


Sylvia said...

Wow braised fennel ,and red sweet onions , such a wonderful taste combination

Kevin said...

That looks good and sounds great! I am going to have to look for stealhead trout.

Joy of Cooking said...

Hi Mary,

Looks wonderful. I used to live in the PacNW where the steelhead are famous for migrating to spawn. I just saw a story on the news that they are almost extinct due to farming, logging, dams and destruction of their habitat. So sad. They are an incredible species.

Great meeting you too-- really fun. Let's do it again soon!

Mary Coleman said...

demo: I'm speechless.
Sylvia: It's too good!
kevin: Thanks for stopping by. You'll love this.
joy: Steelhead is so good. This is farm raised. I can just imagine how good wild caught would be, but I'll settle for this if it means replenishing the breed.

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

I didn't know that this was related to salmon! It makes sense since they look so much alike.

I really like your recipe. I love fresh fennel, especially with fish. I make a recipe with fennel, onions and halibut that is really nice.