Okay, I’ll bet you guessed this cooking adventure involves fish. For the following reasons, I wanted to tackle cooking fish. First, I was afraid of cooking fish and wanted to overcome that fear. Fish can be expensive and no one wants to ruin it. Secondly, I love fish. I order it a lot while eating out because I don’t cook it at home. Thirdly, I was inspired by two meals on our recent vacation. We ate some amazing halibut at Girl & the Goat restaurant in Chicago established and run by a favorite Top Chef winner, Stepahnie Izard. Then, Kip had some delicious trout at Hercules restaurant while we were in Saugatuck, Michigan. The final reason for taking on this challenge, fish is healthy for you, and especially me, a diabetic, trying to maintain a healthy A1C level (I’ll explain that in a future post).
First up was rainbow trout.
Now, I had to get over any squeamishness about using a whole fish with the head, tail, eyes and all. Actually, having the eyes is a good thing. Bright, clear eyes means the fish is fresh (as mine were) and opaque eyes when cooking means the fish is done, translucent eyes means it’s undercooked and sunken eyes means it’s overcooked. I bought both the trout and the halibut at a fish market because our local grocery store doesn’t carry them. The fish was fresh, deboned, cleaned and fairly reasonable. We got a little over a pound of trout for $15, less than what you’d pay for one in a restaurant.
One of my cookbooks had a section on pan frying, grilling, broiling and baking trout and I decided to use the baking method because some friends recently gave us a recipe for baked, stuffed trout. The stuffing ingredients included diced water chestnuts, sliced green olives and chopped green onions sautéed in butter with packaged wild rice added.
The trout turned out perfectly. The recipe’s cooking time and temperature were spot on, 20 minutes at 375 degrees.
The night after the trout was halibut.
Halibut is an easy fish to work with. Most cooking directions I read were very similar; season with salt and pepper, heat canola oil in a large sauté pan, cook skin side down first, five minutes on each side. It’s done when fish flakes easily with a fork. I cooked a pound of halibut which was almost too much for the two of us.
I served the halibut over rice covered with a coconut – red curry sauce but there are many recipes for halibut that you can prepare to suit your cuisine and tastes.
I’ll definitely be adding these dishes to my repertoire because they are easy and delicious, nothing to be frightened of. Now, maybe I can learn to like other seafood such oysters, calamari and scallops! Stay tuned!
Stuffed Baked Trout
Sauté in butter: 1/3 cup chopped water chestnuts, 1/4 cup chopped green olives, 1/4 cup green onions; add packaged, microwaveable wild rice, salt, pepper; put mixture inside trout; place trout on sprayed pan or baking dish; bake at 375 for 20 minutes
Halibut with Coconut-Red Curry Sauce