This weekend in Austin, a release of over 2300 rainbow trout stocked Lake Mueller as the community celebrated the third annual Hooked on Mueller family event, sponsored by Mueller Development and Texas Parks and Wildlife. Both neophyte and experienced fishermen, alike, peppered the shore, hoping for a healthy haul. For a second year, I was honored to participate in the celebration by demonstrating trout cooking techniques for Texas Farmers’ Market Mueller.
It was a bustling but blustery morning at the market, but chilly gusts did not stop the crowds from lining up to learn more. I had the opportunity to teach some young fishermen, at first simply curious, followed by studious intensity, how to prepare their catch. At the TFM Mueller market especially, I’m delighted by the interest of the many would-be chefs and Small Fry home cooks who stop by chef demos, frequently pulling a parent by the arm in order to share a sample of food they’d like to have prepared for them, or they’d like to prepare themselves. Somewhere in Austin, a 12-year old boy is asking his mother for lemons and the cooking wine. That kind of makes me proud.
Trout a la Meunière is a classic dish of French origin often found served along the Gulf Coast. Trout is abundant, and comes in at the peak of freshness, allowing the less is more approach to showcase its light, buttery flesh at its best. Butter, lemon, parsley and additions such as those you’ll find below create a quick, simple pan sauce that enhances the fish, but does not overpower. It’s an elegant meal in about 20 minutes cooking time, and served with a simple sauté of fresh asparagus or your favorite green vegetable, and perhaps a light salad, makes a tasty transition from the heavy soups and stews of late winter, to the lighter fare of early spring.
Try your hand at simple, elegant Trout a la Meunière. You’ll master a classic, and impress yourself with the results.
Trout a la Meunière
Prepared for Texas Farmers’ markets
Recipe Adapted from Emeril Lagasse
4 (6-ounce) trout fillets
1 scant teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1 scant teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 stick, cubed, softened unsalted butter
1 tablespoon minced shallots
2 red spring onions, sliced
2 tablespoons white wine
1 lemon, zested, and juiced
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 lemon, sliced thinly, for garnish
2 tablespoons microgreens, for garnish
Freshly ground pepper and salt, to taste, to finish
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
Combine salt, white pepper, and Herbes de Provence with flower in a shallow plate. Lightly dredge the trout in the flour, shaking off excess. Set a 10-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil to the pan. Once the oil is hot, place the fish fillets in the pan, 2 at a time and cook for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes per side. (Do not disturb the fish as they brown—simply gently shake the pan to keep fish from sticking.) Remove to a paper towel-lined plate, patting gently to blot extra oil. Place the cooked fillets in an oven-proof dish and place in the oven while you cook the remaining fillets.
When all fish are cooked, discard oil in sauté pan, and return to medium heat. Add butter to the pan and once melted, add the shallots and spring onions. As the shallots cook, and the butter stops foaming, (about 30 seconds), add the white wine, lemon juice and parsley to the pan. Continue to cook for 15 to 20 seconds, swirling the pan occasionally. Correct seasonings as necessary. Remove from heat.
Remove fish from oven, plate, and spoon sauce atop the fish. Season to taste with salt and pepper, garnish with microgreens and lemon slices. Serve immediately.
You might just spy a certain market chef preparing trout, and basically drawling her way through her spots in this short, informative texas Parks and Wildlife clip, promoting the Hooked on Mueller trout release.
Oh my, that drawl, y'all. Oh my.