Two of my closest friends run a trout distribution company in Somerset West, called About Trout. Their trout is farmed on the picturesque Lourensford Farm. They supply trout fillets and whole fish to the restaurant industry and deli’s all around the Boland area, but also trade at markets like the Biscuit Mill in Observatory, Cape Town. They even have fantastic hot smoked fillets, hot smoked whole fish, and smoked trout paté – all of it is really outstanding quality.
Freshwater rainbow trout is very similar to ocean salmon and can (in most cases) be cooked in very much the same way. Trout fillets are a lot smaller than salmon fillets and therefore need to be handled very carefully. I just love the delicate and slightly sweet taste of fresh rainbow trout! I’ve eaten it grilled, fried, poached, steamed, baked – you name it. But the quickest and easiest way to cook it is probably to simply pan-fry the fillets. My friends from About Trout make sure that all of their fillets are completely deboned, which is a huge bonus.
Try to buy your trout as fresh as possible, and use it immediately. That way you’ll be sure to get the best taste and texture from you fish. I serve my trout in summer time with a fresh salad, but in winter I like to serve it with pecorino mash (see picture) or even some blanched greens like asparagus, terderstem broccoli or baby spinach. It is amazing that we can get this fantastic, sustainable, freshwater delicatessen right under our noses here in the Boland – what a treat!
Ingredients: (for 2 main portions)
- about 250 g fresh rainbow trout fillets, deboned
- extra virgin olive oil for brushing and frying
- salt flakes and freshly ground pepper for seasoning
Remove fillets from packaging, rinse under tap water and pat dry. Brush lightly with oil and season to taste. Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat, add fillets skin-side-down and fry. Turn after about 2-3 minutes, and fry for another 2-3 minutes untill tender and still slightly pink. Do not overcook!
For the sauce:
- 50 ml butter (roughly 3 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon apricot jam, preferably not too chunky
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon dried dill tops (or 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill)
- small pinch of salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a small sauce jug in the microwave, then add the apricot jam, lemon juice and dill, and stir vigorously untill mixed well. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Serve warm (otherwise it will set) and drizzle generously all over freshly fried trout and mash.
For the pecorino mash:
- 3-4 medium-sized potatoes, cooked and still warm
- about 60 ml milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- about 1/3 cup finely grated pecorino cheese (or grana padano or parmesan or Gruyère)
Mash the warm cooked potatoes, then add milk and seasoning and cheese, and continue to mix with masher untill smooth.