February 28, 2013
Wine Varietal: Oregon Pinot Noir
A hearty stuffing studded with walnuts, dried cherries, and green onions goes great with the mild flavor of farm-raised trout, and would be a particularly desirable meal served with steamed or sautéed ruby chard. Pair the stuffed fish and chard with an Oregon Pinot Noir.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 small white or yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup wild rice, rinsed and well drained
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of ground allspice
1/4 cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped (See Cook’s Hint, below)
1/4 cup dried cherries or dried cranberries, diced
2 green onions, finely chopped
4 whole, dressed trout, 3/4 pound each, rinsed, drained, and patted dry
Additional salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Melt 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; add the onion, garlic, and red bell pepper. Cook until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Do not allow the vegetables to brown. Add the wild rice and cook 2 minutes, stirring often to coat the individual rice grains with the oil.
2. Add the water, chicken stock, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and the allspice and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer 45 minutes, or until the rice kernels blossom and the rice is tender. Remove the rice from the heat, drain off any excess water, and stir in the walnuts, dried cherries, and green onions.
3. Ten minutes before cooking the fish, preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a baking sheet large enough to hold the trout without crowding with oil or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
4. Lightly sprinkle salt and pepper inside the cavities of the fish. Spoon one-quarter of the stuffing into the cavity of each fish and place on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the outside of the trout with the remaining olive oil and cook 18 to 20 minutes, or until the trout are opaque through the thickest part (just behind the head).
5. Divide the trout among individual plates and serve immediately.
Cook’s Hint: To toast the walnuts, place them in a dry nonstick skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan often until they begin to turn light brown and become aromatic, about 3 to 5 minutes. Cool and chop as directed.
Recipe reprinted from the “Pike Place Public Market Seafood Cookbook,” gift edition and e-edition, by Braiden Rex-Johnson, copyright 2005 and 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.