Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Adventures of Cletus the Trout

I was very excited to make Trout Amandine with another classmate today.  I love seafood and enjoy cooking and eating it very much.  Growing up I was never a huge fan of trout because my family would bake them whole and I generally just thought it was annoying to eat and never really tasted that special.  I also never saw trout sold in fillets at any fish markets that I visited, so I never really bothered to make it on my own, because until recently I didn't know how to properly fillet a fish.  Now I'm a lot more confident taking my fillet knife to a dead sea creature.  It's actually pretty easy.  You start just past the gills, cut straight down until you hit the backbone, and then with a sawing motion carefully scrape against the bones and cut all the way to the tail. We filleted six whole trouts (we named each and every one of them), trimmed them, removed the pin bones, cut each fillet in half at an angle for more appealing presentation (two halves were served per plate = one whole fillet), seasoned and then dredged each piece in flour, pan-fried them in hot butter, getting the skin nice and crisp, topped them with butter-toasted slivered almonds, and sauce made with lemon juice, white wine, and butter.  Viola!  As long as you get the skin crisp, serve the fish "a la minute" (don't let it sit in a steam table until service), and make sure not to completely drown it in sauce, it actually tastes surprisingly light and was very very delicious!  I definitely can see myself buying trout in the future, filleting it myself, and making more interesting and flavorful presentations, as opposed to my parents' boring baked trout!

Cletus the Trout 

These are Cletus's insides... 

The flesh was cut nice and clean off the bone

Here I've trimmed Cletus's fillet and removed the pin bones

Our mise en place for cooking and plating the fish: salt and pepper, flour, butter, trout fillets, butter-toasted almonds, and finely chopped parsley (the sauce was in a bain marie staying warm on the stove)

Truite aux Amande (Trout Amandine) 

Bouillon Milanaise (Chicken Soup with Ham, Mushrooms, and Pasta)

Crème DuBarry (Cream of Cauliflower Soup)

Escargots aux Cèpes (Escargots with Porcini Mushrooms)

Contrefilet Rôti (Roasted Strip Loin)

Escalope de Veau "Chimay" (Veal Cutlets with Duxelles and Hollandaise)

Pheasant Braisé aux Pruneaux Farcis (Braised Pheasant Stuffed with Prunes)

Salade Mimosa (Bibb Lettuce Salad with Hard Boiled Egg)

The Show Plates


Lucine said...

Fabulous!!! Maybe it's just me, but the dishes from this class have just jumped out at me more than any others so far - I want to try everything!!!

Victoria K. said...

It's because French food it awesome :) We've also made an effort to really make the food especially beautiful too, really focusing on the plating more than in most of the Freshman classes. Also we're insanely talented, haha.

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