Get stuffed! Pretty rude if said to a human, but when addressing the lovely rainbow trout that is about to become dinner, well, I think we know it’s all for the best.
I’ve tried a lot of new-to-me fish over the past 18 months thanks to my Hooked on Fish subscription, seeking to expand my piscine horizons. I was excited to cook a wide variety of seafood and expected to LOVE LOVE LOVE so many new things, and I’m happy to say the experiment has worked! Some of my new favorites include sea bass; arctic char; opah; and even that fugly mother, monkfish.
But sometimes the old faves are the best faves. I’ve always loved trout at restaurants and now I know that cooking it at home is fast, easy, and infinitely adaptable to suit your taste, mood, and the contents of your refrigerator. Stuffed trout rings the bell for me because it is mild in flavor; there’s a good chance it will be locally sourced; using the foil pouch technique makes cooking/clean-up a breeze; and best of all, the flavor options for stuffing the fish are endless. Herbs and lemon slices is a classic combo. Chopped fennel, orange, and parsley is also nice together.
I found a recipe from the New York Times Cooking column featuring chopped tomatoes and garlic as the main stuffing ingredients and thought – great idea, this should’ve happened sooner! Better late than never, and this will definitely enter the rotation of Meals I’m Eager to Eat Again.
I made a few little changes to the recipe: I sautéed onions and garlic together before spreading a couple tablespoons inside each fish; this was instead of mixing raw garlic with the tomatoes and oil. I also subbed parsley and oregano for the thyme that the recipe calls for. Still delicious.
The Occasion: Welcome Home dinner for MIL Ina. I was able to make the fish packets several hours ahead of time, transport them to her apartment in a cooler, and bake them up there in about 15 minutes time. Easy-peasy and delicious-Aloysius. Ina enjoyed the leftovers for lunch the next day.
Click the photos to enlarge them and read the captions.
|Printable Recipe- Rainbow Trout Stuffed with Tomatoes Garlic and Thyme|
|File Size:||540 kb|
Recipe source: Martha Rose Shulman at New York Times Cooking
- Extra virgin olive oil for the foil
- 4 small rainbow trout, boned
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 pound ripe tomatoes in season, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 4 to 8 sprigs fresh thyme
- Chopped fresh parsley or thyme for garnish
- Lemon wedges for serving
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Cut 4 sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil, or 8 sheets of lighter foil, into squares that are 3 inches longer than your fish. If using lighter foil, make 4 double-thick squares. Oil the dull side of the foil with olive oil and place a trout, skin side down, on each square.
- Season the trout on both sides with salt and pepper and open them out flat.
- In a bowl combine the tomatoes, garlic, 1 teaspoon olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
- Spoon over the middle of each trout.
- Place 1 or 2 sprigs of thyme on top, and fold the two sides of the trout together. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon olive oil over each fish.
- Making sure that the trout are in the middle of each square, fold the foil up loosely, grab at the edges and crimp together tightly to make a packet.
- Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, checking one of the packets after 10 minutes. The flesh should be opaque and pull apart easily when tested with a fork.
- Place each packet on a plate. Carefully cut across the top to open it, taking care not to let the steam from inside the packet burn you. Gently remove the fish from the packet and pour the juices over.
- Sprinkle with parsley or thyme and serve, passing the lemon wedges.
Advance preparation: You can prepare the fish and make the foil packets several hours ahead. Keep in the refrigerator until shortly before cooking.