Trout is a very healthy fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids. There is nothing better than catching your own fish and cooking it yourself, but this recipe will of course work with farmed trout you buy in the store, too. To make sure your fish is fresh, press down on the flesh—if it bounces back, it’s fresh; if it leaves a dent, it’s not.
I like to cook trout whole until crisp, but fillets will work, too. If you're using a whole fish, deboning it prior to cooking will make for an easier dining experience. You can serve it with a side of jasmine rice and a delicate vegetable such as sautéed spinach or asparagus.
Excerpted from Savor by Ilona Oppenheim (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2016. Photographs by Ilona Oppenheim.
How to Mill Your Own Flour:
To grind your own flour, the first thing you need is a good mill. After much research, I bought the Komo Mill Duet. It isn’t cheap ($400 to $1,000, depending on specifications), but I use it almost every day—and since it’s made from wood, it looks pretty sitting on my kitchen counter. I’ve also tried the Family Grain Mill, which costs between $150 and $550. It’s easy to assemble and clean and it doesn’t take up much space.
Once you own a mill, you’ll discover that not only is the milling process fun, but it’s also satisfying to know how healthy grinding your own grain is. You’ll find it convenient and economical to buy grains in bulk, either directly from a local farm or online. I buy 40-pound bags and store them in large airtight buckets to keep out bugs and moisture. For easy access, I keep large mason jars, labeled by grain, in my pantry. When I need a particular grain, I simply pour the grain into the mill chute and grind it into fresh flour. The benefits of milling your own flour are numerous, but here are a few.
Cost: Grinding flour is more economical than buying it already ground, since grains are cheaper than flour—especially when purchased in bulk.
Flavor: The authentic flavor of home-milled flour is much more distinct than the bland taste of commercial flour.
Health: The germ has been removed from commercially ground flours. This part of the grain contains healthy, nutritious oils. It is removed to extend the shelf life of the grain/flour, which would otherwise go rancid within a day or so once the grain is milled.
Variety: Once you start buying your own grain, you’ll find many different varieties, each with its own unique taste and health benefit. By grinding your own grains, and even mixing them, you can create flours that you
may not find commercially.
- Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 whole trout, cleaned and deboned, or 4 trout fillets
- 1 large pasture-raised egg
- 1/4 Cup half-and-half (ideally raw or nonhomogenized grass-fed)
- 1/2 Cup home-milled soft white wheat flour (see note) or organic whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 Cup coarsely chopped almonds
- 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, thyme, parsley, or basil
- Lemon wedges, for serving
Sprinkle salt and pepper in the cavity of each trout. If using fillets, season them with salt and pepper.
In a shallow dish, beat the egg and whisk in the half-and-half. Put the flour in another shallow dish. Dip the trout into the egg mixture and then the flour. Shake off the excess flour and set the fish aside on a large plate.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fish and cook until light brown and flaky on both sides, 6 to 8 minutes per side, depending on the thickness. Transfer the fish to a plate and cover to keep warm.
Return the pan to the heat and melt the butter. Add the almonds and sauté until golden brown. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice and herbs. Spoon the almonds and butter sauce over the fish and serve with lemon wedges on the side.