Tag Archives: trout

Cooking Food Travel

Whole Trout en Papillote

It’s finally the end of the week and I’m feeling like the fish above. He’s all, “Girl, my terrariums are all dessicated and don’t even talk to me about my hair, so I’m just going to lie down in a bed of butter and lemons now.” Am I projecting?

I got back from another business trip to London a couple of weeks ago. Every morning I ran in the mist like a gorilla, which is my favorite weather and method to run in.

Across the bridge:

along the River Thames:

past Big Ben:

and on the first day, accidentally across a finish line amidst a cheering crowd in #theonlyraceilleverwin. Not to worry, the glory didn’t last long because the very next day some piece of cobblestone tripped me into some major Crouching Tiger-style flying and rolling on the ground resulting in this (and yes, as a friend so generously pointed out, I managed to land on the tops of my knees. And don’t judge my skin.):

It wasn’t like I was very noticeable wearing hot pink running shoes, a purple running skirt and a fuschia jacket or anything. I always said that exercise was dangerous.

Later, I did manage to make it to a pop-up restaurant in SoHo called The Full English, and felt much better after stuffing myself with bacon, eggs, tomatoes and beans. Check it out if you’re in London.

So that was London. Now on to fish.

Trout is one of my favorite fish, and what  I love about fish (aside from the brain health benefits that I so desperately need) is the speed with which you can prepare it. I’m not terribly experienced with cooking whole fish, so I used this Whole Trout en Papilotte recipe from the Food Network. Place some chopped onion on a piece of parchment paper, lay the fish on top and cut slits into it. Season it inside and out with salt and pepper.

Stuff the fish with herbs, coat the top with shallot butter (see instructions below) and cover it with a layer of lemons.

I wrapped it in the parchment, grilled it for 20 minutes, and it was done! Moist, tender, and makes you smarter!



  • 2 whole trout, dressed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup sliced sweet yellow onion
  • 2 handfuls fresh herbs (thyme, parsley and rosemary)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon-shallot butter, recipe follows
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Parchment paper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees (I used a grill — either will work!). Cut 2 sheets of parchment paper large enough to completely cover the fish when folded. Wash and dry the trout. Using a knife, score the fish on 1 side by cutting slits into the flesh just until you feel the bone. Season the trout generously, inside and out with salt and pepper. Spread 1/4 cup of the onions on each sheet of parchment. Place fish on top, scored side up. Stuff the inside of the fish with herbs. (It’s ok if they stick out a bit). Top each fish with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the shallot butter. Cover with the lemon slices. Drizzle 1 tablespoon white wine and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil over each fish. Fold the parchment over the fish. Starting at 1 end, fold the paper on itself, making sure to completely seal it. At the end, fold it underneath itself. Repeat. Place fish on large baking sheet and cook for about 12 to 15 minutes. To serve, place trout en papillote on a platter. Cut the parchment at the table to ensure that all the aromas stay inside the package.

Lemon Shallot Butter


  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 lemon, zest finely minced
  • 1 small shallot, finely minced
  • Salt and pepper


In a food processor, combine all ingredients until mixed. Place whipped butter mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a log. Freeze until ready to use. Butter will keep in the freezer for at least a month.

Cooking Food

Poached Steelhead Trout

I procured recently a bottle of omega-3 supplements after reading about how our brains shrink a quarter of a percent (.025%) per year after age 30. The good news is that I probably won’t live long enough for my brain mass to get to zero, but the bad news is that I don’t think I’m getting any smarter year over year, and I kept forgetting to take these memory pills. Wait, who are you again?

My friend Patricia, who is currently using her brain to become a nurse practitioner, told me that you can get equivalent benefits by eating just 3 grams of fish per week. So I’ve been trying to up my fish repertoire since I rarely forget to eat.

I like fish, but:

1. It has to be moist. Eating dry fish is kind of like gnawing on socks.

2. It can’t smell or taste fishy. I know, I’m the same person who doesn’t like protein in her fruit. It also cannot make my house smell fishy.

3. It must be easy to prepare. I am lazy.

Steelhead trout is one of my favorite fish. Check out this blog which talks about the difference between steelhead trout and salmon (in his opinion, there really isn’t any). I actually prefer the steelhead, and it might just be because of the color — it’s a deeper orange-red, which goes a little better with my decor.

Here’s one of my go-to recipes — given the above you can use steelhead trout or salmon and you probably won’t be able to tell the difference — because it’s so quick and easy and comes out perfect every time.

Before you pick your saucepan, make sure that the fish can lay completely flat across the diameter of the pan. If it doesn’t, pick another pan or cut the fish in half so that each half lays flat in the pan.

First, we’ll prepare the poaching liquid. This can be made in advance, which I often do, and I just heat the liquid to a boil when I’m ready to poach. I freeze the liquid after a poach and reuse it again for a future poaching, which makes for a 10 minute meal the next time around. Chop up half an onion, heat up a tablespoon of oil in the saucepan and cook over medium heat until browned, about 7-10 minutes. Add enough white wine into a saucepan to completely cover your fish. Add in a bay leaf, 3 slices of lemon, 3 sprigs of thyme, 1/4 cup dill, 1/4 cup parsley and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer covered for 20 minutes.

Return the liquid to a boil, off the heat and immerse the fish into the poaching liquid, ensuring that it’s completely covered. Not like I did below, because if it’s not in the liquid, it’s not getting cooked. If you underestimated the liquid, you can add a bit more wine to the pan to top it up.

Let the fish poach in the liquid for 10-15 minutes, until the flesh is firm. I like the flesh slightly rare, so pull it out at the 10 minute mark, but let it sit for longer if you prefer it well done.

Remove from the liquid, add salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with dill and lemon slices. It’s delicious served with Lemonaise as a dipping sauce.



  • 1 pound filet of steelhead trout
  • 1 TSP olive or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups dry white wine (enough to immerse filet in pan)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 slices lemon
  • 3 springs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup dill
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a saucepan and sautee until browned, about 7 minutes. Add in the wine, bay leaf, lemon, thyme, dill, parsley and salt. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Bring liquid back to a boil and off the heat. Put the trout in the liquid, immersing completely (top up with water and bring to boil again if you need to) and poach in liquid for 10-15 minutes, until flesh is firm. Remove from the liquid, add salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with dill and lemon slices. Serve hot or cold. Lemonaise can be used as a dipping sauce.

Serves 4.