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Seared Rainbow Trout + Citrus-fennel-potato salad + Cilantro pesto

Seared Rainbow Trout : Citrus-fennel-potato salad & Cilantro pesto_Yes,more please!

This summer my basil plants have not done really well. I think my mistake was not being able to see that I had 3 plants in the same pot. Oh well! I separated them, but they are a bit annoyed with me at this time. If just they knew I love them. The reason I planted them is because I love pesto and without basil my next favorite herb for pesto is cilantro.
Cilantro is really hard to grow but easy to find fresh at the store or market so I decided to give it a shot and it seems I came up with a pretty exciting recipe. It is like a cross between pesto and the Argentinean chimichurri; not too creamy not too oily, right in the middle. I’m loving it. I used fresh cilantro, peanuts, and chilies. A hint of lemon zest and Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I skipped the Parmigiano cheese and still  It’s creamy and light at the same time.

With this premise, I went to the seafood market and run into this gorgeous Rainbow Trout Fillets. Done deal! the perfect pairing for my pesto. Rainbow trout is a delicate fish but with enough character to old up the herb and zesty flavors. Trouts belong to the family of Salmon, so it has a firm flesh and good fatty acids, Therefore lots of flavors.
Fish intimidates a lot of people, and oh my God, “Fishskin” forget it!. Well, it is time for you to get out of your comfort zone and just do it.  Get resources, talk to your vendor, fisherman, fish aficionado, how to choose fish, where to get it in your city, how to choose a good one. For me, there are two clues to go by smell and texture. I do not buy fish that smell like fish and the flesh to the touch needs to be firm. The next intimidating factor comes from the not knowing how to cook it or which method works better. My friends, if you follow these simple instructions you are on your way to have a feast of kings!

Seared Rainbow Trout : Citrus-fennel-potato salad & Cilantro pesto_Rainbow Trout fillets

Seared Rainbow Trout : Citrus-fennel-potato salad & Cilantro pesto_Fresh Rainbow Trout Fillets

Seared Rainbow Trout + Citrus-fennel-potato salad + Cilantro Pesto

Serves 4

For the Cilantro Pesto:

4 cups  about 2 bunches of Cilantro include stems
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
3-4 chilies  2 serranos, 2 red sweet peppers (you can interchange chilies, like habanero, jalapeño, shishito, just add one at a time so you can control the spice level)
3-4  garlic cloves
1/2 – 3/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
The juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of fresh cracked black pepper

Preparation:
Add everything to the blender or food processor, blending and pulsing to desired consistency. You can live it more chunky or smooth is up to you.*

For the Left Over Pesto:
I’ve been using it in avocado sandwiches, pasta, and cucumber salad is a hit!. This recipe makes about 2-1 1/2 cups and stays good for about a week. Keep it in an airtight container and cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the pesto. This will prevent air from oxidizing it and turn it dark gray.

Seared-Rainbow-Trout_Cilantro-pesto_-ingredients_Yes,more-please!Seared Rainbow Trout : Citrus-fennel-potato salad & Cilantro pesto_Cilantro pesto

For the Potato Fennel Salad:

4-6 medium-small New red potatoes cook al dente.
1/2 a large bulb of fennel finely sliced
1/2 small red onion finely sliced.
1-2 handfuls of frisse (or arugula)
The juice of one medium orange.
A splash of Rice Vinegar
A splash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Salt & Black pepper to taste

Preparation:
Place all salad ingredients in a bowl. Toss well a few minutes before serving so the potatoes can absorb some of the vinaigrette.

Potato-Fennel-Salad_Yes,-more-please!

Potato-Fennel-Salad_-tossing-the-salad

For the Seared Rainbow Trout:

4  Rainbow trout fillets skin on.
Kosher Salt &  fresh cracked Black Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

There are five rules to leave by when you are searing skin on trout fillets:

1- HOT skillet, I mean sizzling hot; water droplets dance in the skillet at this temperature.

2- Room temperature fish. Pull the fish out of the refrigerator at least 20 minutes before you gonna start cooking.

3- Pad dry the fish before seasoning.

4-Proper seasoning salt & pepper both sides of the fillet.

5- Skin side hits the pan first. One flip. That’s it! yes, one flip you read it well. So let’s start cooking…

Preparation:
Heat up a non-stick skillet. Place seasoned trout fillets skin side down into the very hot skillet. Do not crowd the pan, so you can ensure the skin of the trout is seared and crispy. Now, avoid the temptation, do not Look at it, don’t flip it, do not move it around. Don’t please!. Wait 1 and a half to 2 minutes, as soon as you start to see that the edges of the fillet are turning white (like a halo all around the perimeter) then carefully flip it with all your conviction in the knowing that ONE flip is enough.
The skin should be golden brown and crispy edges. Once you flip it is over. Give your fillets an extra 1 to 2 minutes tops.
Remove from heat let it rest a bit 40-60 seconds. And your fillets are Ready to serve.

Serve trout skin side up so stays crispy, top it with a generous spoonful of the pesto, roasted chopped peanuts and drizzle some lemon juice to finish it.
Top the trout with the red new potato and fennel salad. You can also serve this dish family style all arranged on a serving platter, take it to the table and A Comer! Serve immediately accompanied by a good glass of Vinho Verdhe like Casal Garcia from Portugal, or an Albarino 2009 La Cana, from Galicia Spain.
Enjoy!

Seared-Rainbow-Trout-with-Cilantro-pesto_How-to-sear-a-trout_filet_Yes,more-please!Seared-Rainbow-Trout-with-Cilantro-pesto_How-to-sear-a-trout_Yes,more-please!

Seared-Rainbow-Trout-with-Cilantro-pesto-ready-to-serve_Yes,more-please!

Seared-Rainbow-Trout-with-Citrus-fennel-potato-salad-&-Cilantro-pesto_Yes,more-please!

Enjoy!

Music Pairing: Ibrahim Ferrer- Buena Vista Social Club

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Seared Rainbow Trout + Citrus-fennel-potato salad + Cilantro pesto

Serves 4 There are five rules to leave by when you are searing skin on trout fillets: 1- HOT skillet, I mean sizzling hot; water droplets dance in the skillet at this temperature. 2- Room temperature fish. Pull the fish out of the refrigerator at least 20 minutes before you gonna start cooking. 3- Pad dry the fish fillets before seasoning. 4-Proper seasoning salt & pepper both sides of the fillet. 5- Skin side hits the pan first. One flip. That’s it! yes one flip you read it well.
Course dinner
Cuisine FUSION
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Author Mariana McEnroe

Ingredients

For the Cilantro Pesto:

  • 4 cups about 2 bunches of Cilantro
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts
  • 3-4 chilies 2 Serrano peppers 2 red sweet peppers (you can interchange chilies, like habanero, jalapeño, shishito, just add one at a time so you can control the spice level.)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  • The juice and zest of 1 lemon.
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper.

For the Potato Fennel Salad:

  • 4-6 medium-small New red potatoes cook al dente.
  • 1/2 a large bulb of fennel finely sliced
  • 1/2 small red onion finely sliced.
  • 1-2 handfuls of frisse or arugula
  • The juice of one medium orange.
  • A splash of Rice Vinegar
  • A splash of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  • Salt & Black pepper to taste

For the Seared Rainbow Trout:

  • 4 Rainbow trout fillets skin on.
  • Kosher Salt & Fresh Cracked Pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Instructions

  1. Make the pesto: Add every pesto ingredient to the blender or food processor, blending and pulsing until a rough paste. Pulse it more times for a smoother consistency. I like it a bit more chunky, small pieces of peanuts still show and the herbs are roughly chopped, but not completely pureed.

  2. For the Left Over Pesto: I’ve been using it on avocado sandwiches, pasta, and cucumber salad is a hit!. This recipe makes about 2-1 1/2 cups and stays good for about a week. Keep it in an airtight container and cover with plastic wrap touching the surface of the pesto. This will prevent air from oxidizing it and turn it dark gray.

  3. Make the potato salad: place all salad ingredients in a bowl and gently toss well a few minutes before serving so the potatoes can absorb some of the vinaigrette.

  4. Sear the fish: 

    Heat up a non-stick skillet. Place trout fillets into the very hot skillet remember the fish enters the pan skin side down. Do not crowd the pan, so you can ensure the skin of the trout is seared and crispy. Now, avoid the temptation, do not Look at it, don’t flip it, do not move it around. Don’t please!. Wait 1 and a half to 2 minutes,  as soon as you start to see that the edges of the fillet are turning white (like a halo all around the perimeter) then carefully flip it with all your conviction in the knowing that ONE flip is enough. 

    The skin should be golden brown and crispy edges. Once you flip it is over. Give your fillets an extra 1 to 2 minutes tops. 

    Remove from heat let it rest a bit 40-60 seconds. And your fillets are Ready to serve.

  5. Serve trout skin side up so stays crispy, top it with a generous spoonful of the pesto, roasted chopped peanuts and drizzle some lemon juice to finish it.

    Top the trout with the red new potato and fennel salad. You can also serve this dish family style all arranged on a serving platter, take it to the table and A Comer!

  6. Serve immediately accompanied by a good glass of Vinho Verdhe like Casal Garcia from Portugal, or an Albarino 2009 La Cana, from Galicia Spain.

    Enjoy!

 

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