Minimal on ingredients and maximum on flavour - this is a real crowd pleaser and it makes a great cold dish too. Recipe by Tim Maddams for the British Trout Association.
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 30 mins
1 large ChalkStream trout fillet (around 700g)
1 300 ml pot of crème fraiche
3 teaspoons French mustard
2 slices of chunky, stale bread
½ bunch basil
½ bunch parsley
A little lemon zest, and the juice of 1 lemon
A pinch of mace
Drizzle of olive oil
1 small clove of garlic
Salt and pepper
Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius and line a baking sheet large enough to hold your fish fillet with non-stick parchment and drizzle with a little olive oil.
Tear or cut your stale bread into small chunks and place in a food processor, use the pulse setting to make this into some fairly chunky, breadcrumb – or crumbs with character as I like to say.
Roughly chop the herbs, grate a little zest and peel and roughly chop the garlic. Add most of these all to the blender, keeping back a teaspoon or so of chopped garlic, herbs and zest for use in the accompanying sauce, and drizzle in a little light olive oil with the bread and herbs.
Blend to make light green herby breadcrumbs, set these aside to use later.
Place your trout fillet skin side down on the baking sheet, check for and remove any pin bones and trim off any fins or fin bones.
Drizzle the lemon juice over the fillet, then season it well with salt and pepper as well as a little mace (Optional).
In a small bowl, mix the crème fraiche and mustard together and brush or spread two thirds of this onto the trout fillet making sure you cover the whole flesh side of the fillet. Generously sprinkle over enough breadcrumbs to give the fillet a nice crust – taking care that you don’t scatter breadcrumbs directly onto the baking sheet – as these will burn.
Place the trout in the oven on the middle shelf and bake for 18 minutes until the trout is firm and the breadcrumbs golden and crispy.
Meanwhile, mix the remaining chopped herbs and garlic with the remaining mustard and cream fraiche mix, this can be served with the cooked trout as a garnish sauce.
Once you are happy the trout is cooked – i.e. it is firm to the touch and piping hot inside, take it out of the oven and leave to rest for 2 or 3 mins. Serve chunks of the herby, crunchy topped trout with a fresh salad and spoonfuls of the herby mustard dressing.