Tuesday, 5 May 2009

trout stuffed with almonds

part of what drives me to cook every day is a visceral dread of repetition. it's not because i write this blog and it's not just because i like food. it's more that i can't bear to do the same thing every day. this applies to cooking as much as anything else. for example, i will walk home a different way or switch from tubes to buses to trains a few times a month just because going down the same street and getting on the same bus with the same people i see every day gives me existential angst. i feel the similar about my job though, as a friend once said, at least it's like a different crossword puzzle every day.

so, trout again, but a different recipe and the best so far (even if i say so myself). it is almost but not quite primal. you could leave out the cheese out - it won't taste the same, of course, but it ought to work. you might need to season more generously and maybe use a bit more of the nut mixture so the paste is dry enough.

oh, i should add it's a gennaro contaldo recipe. yes, it's him from passione and yes, i wouldn't mind going there again (http://www.passione.co.uk/).

STUFFED TROUT
for two

2 whole trout, gutted and scaled
25g hazelnuts
25g almonds
25g pine nuts
4 anchovy fillets (in oil, not brine as they are too salty)
1/2 clove of garlic
1tbs capers
1 egg, beaten
1tbs parsley, finely chopped
40g parmesan, grated
zest of 1/2 lemon, finely grated
salt and pepper
olive oil and butter

place the nuts, anchovies, garlic and capers in a food processor and blend. i had to do this in a blender, so i pulsed the nuts first, then added the rest. i actually think this worked better as i ended up with a slightly coarse paste which made the texture more interesting. tranfer to a bowl and stir in the egg, parsley, parmesan, lemon zest and salt and pepper. it should be like a paste - if it's too runny, add a bit more almond flour.

fill the fish with the mixture and then tie each one with some kitchen string.

heat a mix of butter and olive oil in a frying pan and fry the fish for 3-5 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.

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