The Vine

Monday, June 26, 2006

HHS Trout au Pistache

This was so easy to do, does it count as a recipe?

LoverMan and I made an excusion to one of the tonier grocery markets in town to see what the fish market had to offer. We call it "Central Markup" how 'bout you?

In spite of my class attitudes the produce section gave me instant mall-eyes. Every vegetable looked new, interesting, fresh and delectable. Maybe because it is early summer and Central Texas local farms are at the peak of their produce. I got some freaky little spaceship shaped summer squashes which melted into succulent morsels in a steamed butter bath with basil. But I'm skipping ahead

LM helped steer me through the produce aisle with all my clothes still on, then we were in fish, so why was it so important to not be naked? The setup was a little off-putting, bot LM and me were straining bad eyesight to look at the little fishies while the "fish team" tried to land the catch into the customers hands. Note to self and others: I have been told this is easier on weekday nights than weekends.

We settled on some golden trout back in the corner. Maybe we could see better than the other boomers crowding the aisle. With the greenbeans in hand already, we proceeded to check out with fewer diversions.

Really this is a pretty expensive grocery store. I would not go there if I didn't have food stamps. But since I do...

Pistacio Crusted Trout

Two trout fillets, each about 1/2 pound
two handfulls pistacio nuts
two crackers any kind
1-2 tangerines or tangelos
3 tbsp butter

Shell the pistacio nuts and throw them in a blender with the crackers and just a smidge of paprika. Blend til it is like sand with small pebbles.

Melt the butter in a flat baking pan under the broiler at 500 degrees. Add the juice of the tangerines and return to broil. In one or two minutes remove and dredge the trout in the butter sauce, making suer to coat the flesh side with plenty of moisture. Lay the trout fillets in the baking pan skin side down. Shake the pistacio meal on top of the fish, a strainer is helpful. Ideally, all the grains of crusting soak up a little of the butter/tangerine sauce.

Our trout was only 1/2-1 inch thick, so as soon as we smelled pistacio in the kitchen we retrieved the fish from the broiler at 3 - 5 minutes and it was done. If the fish was thicker or denser than this tender trout, the pistacio crust would burn before the fish was done. If your fish is thicker, I recommend turning the broiler down to a baking temperature.

We served these golden trout with plain brown basmati and green beans. The beans were lightly steamed into an olive oil/white wine mix with lemon juice, thyme, black pepper and a shake of salt.

This probably sounds very extravagant for someone shopping on food stamps. I think I can do this sort of thing because I get the raw ingredients intead of anything pre prepared. This is one of the best examples of the predictably outstanding results of me and LM "cooking for entertainment." Keeps us off the streets, one night at a time.


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