Stuffed Trout

Stuffed Trout

  • Course

    Main

  • Duration

    1 1/2 hours

  • Season

    Spring, Summer

  • Serves

    2
Chef’s notes

Cooking a fish whole adds an extra punch to the presentation and allows you to pick out all of those extra bits that are usually lost to filleting. This stuffed dish uses a fish cleaning technique called butterflying, a classic method for gutting and removing the bones from smaller fish in order to cook them whole. You can watch a video of the technique here.

This recipe is easily modified, and since it’s spring, finishing with wild watercress or cooking with morels and nettles would be appropriate. Even buzzing wild greens into the bread crumbs adds impact. However, be careful to not overdo it with the amount of stuffing. You want to complement the delicateness of the trout with lighter spring flavors. I personally like to add asparagus and ramp powder with the room-temperature tomato vinaigrette.

stuffed trout innards

Ingredients

  • 2 small trout, butterflied, roughly 10 oz. each
  • 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 cup toasted focaccia bread crumbs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup charred tomato purée
  • 1½ cups leeks, diced small
  • ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup chives, finely chopped
  • ½ cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • ¼ cup chives, finely chopped
  • The zest and juice of one lemon
  • 2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 6 tbsp. butter
  • 4 tbsp. cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp. capers, lightly chopped
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. ramp powder
  • Coarse salt
  • Cracked black pepper

Also works with

Most fishes such as perch, salmon, bass, and panfish

Preparation

  1. Make the tomato vinaigrette. Over a flame or in the broiler, lightly char the outside of a few Roma tomatoes. Purée the tomato smooth and measure one cup. Blend the tomato with the vinegar, dijon, lemon juice, and one teaspoon of salt. Now emulsify the tomato mixture with the olive oil. Set aside and do not cool.
  2. Dice the focaccia into one-inch cubes and lightly toast. Then buzz the crumbs in a food processor.
  3. Toast the pine nuts in a pan on the stove until lightly browned. Cool and roughly chop.
  4. Cook the leeks. Dice them small and sauté with two tablespoons of butter until they are translucent. Season with salt. Add a splash of water and cook until the water is absorbed. Repeat the water process. Cooking out the water will make the leeks nice and creamy. Set aside to cool.
  5. Make the stuffing. Mix the bread crumbs, pine nuts, capers, lemon zest, parsley, ramp powder, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of cracked black pepper.
  6. Lay out the fish skin side down and lightly season the flesh with salt. Add a liberal amount of the bread crumb mixture to each fish. Now split the leeks between the two fish and evenly layer over the bread crumbs. Close the fish and tie off with butcher's twine in 3 or 4 places, running the fish's length to secure the filling. You can also omit using the butcher's twine, just be careful when you handle the fish during the cooking process.
  7. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
  8. Dredge and sear the fish. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Lay the fish into seasoned flour and brush off any excess. Carefully set the fish in the oil. Sear until browned, flip, add a tablespoon of butter, and brown the second side. Remove the first fish to a sheet tray. Pour out the existing oil/butter and repeat the searing process with the second fish.
  9. Bake the fish on the sheet tray for 15 to 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF.
  10. While the fish is baking, cook the asparagus al dente in a hot pan with butter and garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  11. Plate with tomato oil down first, then asparagus, and finish with the fish. Drizzle a little olive oil and garnish with finely chopped chives.
Chef’s notes

Cooking a fish whole adds an extra punch to the presentation and allows you to pick out all of those extra bits that are usually lost to filleting. This stuffed dish uses a fish cleaning technique called butterflying, a classic method for gutting and removing the bones from smaller fish in order to cook them whole. You can watch a video of the technique here.

This recipe is easily modified, and since it’s spring, finishing with wild watercress or cooking with morels and nettles would be appropriate. Even buzzing wild greens into the bread crumbs adds impact. However, be careful to not overdo it with the amount of stuffing. You want to complement the delicateness of the trout with lighter spring flavors. I personally like to add asparagus and ramp powder with the room-temperature tomato vinaigrette.

stuffed trout innards

Ingredients

  • 2 small trout, butterflied, roughly 10 oz. each
  • 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 cup toasted focaccia bread crumbs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup charred tomato purée
  • 1½ cups leeks, diced small
  • ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup chives, finely chopped
  • ½ cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • ¼ cup chives, finely chopped
  • The zest and juice of one lemon
  • 2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 6 tbsp. butter
  • 4 tbsp. cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp. capers, lightly chopped
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. ramp powder
  • Coarse salt
  • Cracked black pepper

Also works with

Most fishes such as perch, salmon, bass, and panfish

Preparation

  1. Make the tomato vinaigrette. Over a flame or in the broiler, lightly char the outside of a few Roma tomatoes. Purée the tomato smooth and measure one cup. Blend the tomato with the vinegar, dijon, lemon juice, and one teaspoon of salt. Now emulsify the tomato mixture with the olive oil. Set aside and do not cool.
  2. Dice the focaccia into one-inch cubes and lightly toast. Then buzz the crumbs in a food processor.
  3. Toast the pine nuts in a pan on the stove until lightly browned. Cool and roughly chop.
  4. Cook the leeks. Dice them small and sauté with two tablespoons of butter until they are translucent. Season with salt. Add a splash of water and cook until the water is absorbed. Repeat the water process. Cooking out the water will make the leeks nice and creamy. Set aside to cool.
  5. Make the stuffing. Mix the bread crumbs, pine nuts, capers, lemon zest, parsley, ramp powder, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of cracked black pepper.
  6. Lay out the fish skin side down and lightly season the flesh with salt. Add a liberal amount of the bread crumb mixture to each fish. Now split the leeks between the two fish and evenly layer over the bread crumbs. Close the fish and tie off with butcher's twine in 3 or 4 places, running the fish's length to secure the filling. You can also omit using the butcher's twine, just be careful when you handle the fish during the cooking process.
  7. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
  8. Dredge and sear the fish. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Lay the fish into seasoned flour and brush off any excess. Carefully set the fish in the oil. Sear until browned, flip, add a tablespoon of butter, and brown the second side. Remove the first fish to a sheet tray. Pour out the existing oil/butter and repeat the searing process with the second fish.
  9. Bake the fish on the sheet tray for 15 to 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF.
  10. While the fish is baking, cook the asparagus al dente in a hot pan with butter and garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  11. Plate with tomato oil down first, then asparagus, and finish with the fish. Drizzle a little olive oil and garnish with finely chopped chives.

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Stuffed Trout

Recipe by: Lukas Leaf
Stuffed Trout
  • Course

    Main

  • Duration

    1 1/2 hours

  • Season

    Spring, Summer

  • Serves

    2
Chef’s notes

Cooking a fish whole adds an extra punch to the presentation and allows you to pick out all of those extra bits that are usually lost to filleting. This stuffed dish uses a fish cleaning technique called butterflying, a classic method for gutting and removing the bones from smaller fish in order to cook them whole. You can watch a video of the technique here.

This recipe is easily modified, and since it’s spring, finishing with wild watercress or cooking with morels and nettles would be appropriate. Even buzzing wild greens into the bread crumbs adds impact. However, be careful to not overdo it with the amount of stuffing. You want to complement the delicateness of the trout with lighter spring flavors. I personally like to add asparagus and ramp powder with the room-temperature tomato vinaigrette.

stuffed trout innards

Ingredients

  • 2 small trout, butterflied, roughly 10 oz. each
  • 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 cup toasted focaccia bread crumbs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup charred tomato purée
  • 1½ cups leeks, diced small
  • ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup chives, finely chopped
  • ½ cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • ¼ cup chives, finely chopped
  • The zest and juice of one lemon
  • 2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 6 tbsp. butter
  • 4 tbsp. cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp. capers, lightly chopped
  • 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. ramp powder
  • Coarse salt
  • Cracked black pepper

Also works with

Most fishes such as perch, salmon, bass, and panfish

Preparation

  1. Make the tomato vinaigrette. Over a flame or in the broiler, lightly char the outside of a few Roma tomatoes. Purée the tomato smooth and measure one cup. Blend the tomato with the vinegar, dijon, lemon juice, and one teaspoon of salt. Now emulsify the tomato mixture with the olive oil. Set aside and do not cool.
  2. Dice the focaccia into one-inch cubes and lightly toast. Then buzz the crumbs in a food processor.
  3. Toast the pine nuts in a pan on the stove until lightly browned. Cool and roughly chop.
  4. Cook the leeks. Dice them small and sauté with two tablespoons of butter until they are translucent. Season with salt. Add a splash of water and cook until the water is absorbed. Repeat the water process. Cooking out the water will make the leeks nice and creamy. Set aside to cool.
  5. Make the stuffing. Mix the bread crumbs, pine nuts, capers, lemon zest, parsley, ramp powder, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of cracked black pepper.
  6. Lay out the fish skin side down and lightly season the flesh with salt. Add a liberal amount of the bread crumb mixture to each fish. Now split the leeks between the two fish and evenly layer over the bread crumbs. Close the fish and tie off with butcher's twine in 3 or 4 places, running the fish's length to secure the filling. You can also omit using the butcher's twine, just be careful when you handle the fish during the cooking process.
  7. Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
  8. Dredge and sear the fish. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Lay the fish into seasoned flour and brush off any excess. Carefully set the fish in the oil. Sear until browned, flip, add a tablespoon of butter, and brown the second side. Remove the first fish to a sheet tray. Pour out the existing oil/butter and repeat the searing process with the second fish.
  9. Bake the fish on the sheet tray for 15 to 20 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF.
  10. While the fish is baking, cook the asparagus al dente in a hot pan with butter and garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  11. Plate with tomato oil down first, then asparagus, and finish with the fish. Drizzle a little olive oil and garnish with finely chopped chives.