8.23.13 Pan Fried Lake Trout with Balsamic Tomatoes and Fennel
When things are hectic, there’s nothing like a nice piece of fish to make a quick meal. As much as I’d like to think that the summer months should consist of laid back, lazy evenings with plenty of time and daylight to enjoy a nice leisurely meal, I find this is not always the case. Meeting up with friends at the terrace, entrepreneurial activities, mixology classes - lately I find my nights consist of grabbing a quick meal before dashing off to another exciting event.
Which is how I came up with this delicious recipe for lake trout. Skin crisped to perfection in a cast iron skillet, the fish cooks in under 10 mins. Add a couple more minutes for the veggies, serve everything on top of a nice dollop of parmesan polenta (make ahead of time and reheat, or use pre-made), and you’re good to go. A delicious dinner in about 20 mins. You’ll probably even have time to enjoy it on the patio with a glass of white wine. But enough already, you’re probably in a hurry too. So here’s the recipe, get cooking!
Pan Fried Lake Trout with Balsamic Tomatoes and Fennel
- 1 8 oz lake trout fillet
- salt and pepper
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp butter, divided
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 fennel bulb thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp fennel fronds, chopped
1. Remove trout fillet from refrigerator, pat sides of fish dry with a paper towel, and salt both sides.
2. Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the trout skin side down and cook until skin is crispy and fish is partially cooked through - about 5 minutes. Flip fish over and cook on the other side until fully cooked through, another 2-3 minutes. *Note - as soon as you put the fish in the pan, shake the pan back and forth a couple of times. This prevents the fish from sticking, and makes it easier to flip.
3. Remove fish from pan, cut into two portions, and cover to keep warm while you prepare the vegetables.
4. Reduce heat of pan to medium, add 1 Tbsp butter to the pan. Once butter is melted and foaming has subsided, add the fennel and tomatoes. Stir, cooking until fennel is tender and tomatoes are bursting, about 3-4 minutes.
5. Add the remaining 1 Tbsp butter and the balsamic vinegar, stir to combine, and cook for 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper to taste
6. Place one fish fillet on each plate and top with the balsamic vegetable mixture. Garnish with fennel fronds. Serve with parmesan polenta.*
*For quick serving, you can make parmesan polenta ahead of time and reheat before serving. You can find a good recipe here - cut recipe in half for this. Alternately, you can buy pre-made polenta, and simply reheat with a little milk or chicken broth and about ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese.