Trout Provencal and Crispy Brussels Sprouts

Trout Provencal and Brussels SproutsI know that I keep saying that I make all this stuff with ingredients I have on hand, but to be fair, we buy some fairly uncommon ingredients.  Generally, though, we try to buy what’s freshest, cheapest, and looks the best.  Plus, it helps to keep a few ‘gourmet’ ingredients on hand, just to take everyday things up to the next level.

Steelhead trout isn’t always available, but salmon makes a fine substitute (any sort of pink fatty fish will do).  As for the Brussels sprouts – ignore common sense and let them burn.  I don’t know what it is, but there is something completely addicting about burnt Brussels sprouts.  Trust me on this one.

Another confession – a lot of my recipes are adapted from others’ recipes I keep track of.  This recipe, however, is a complete original.  I think it reflects well my progress as a student of food and food culture.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. fresh Brussels sprouts
  • 2 medium shallots, roughly chopped
  • 2 strips bacon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 1 (15 oz) can organic diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp. herbs de Provence
  • 1 lb. steelhead trout filets, skin-on (or salmon)

Process

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut the ends off of the sprouts and split in half.  Meanwhile, render bacon in a cast iron skillet.
  2. Once bacon is crispy, remove and set aside.  Add 1 chopped shallot and cook for about 3 minutes.  Add Brussels sprouts and toss well to coat.  Allow sprouts to brown on one side, toss again, and brown on another side.  Crumble bacon and add back to pan.  Remove skillet from heat, drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and place in oven. (Cook until remainder of recipe is finished – about 25 to 30 minutes.)
  3. Heat olive oil in a second large cast iron skillet (or frying pan) and then fry remaining shallot.  After about 5 minutes, add celery and garlic.  Salt and pepper vigorously.  Toss and saute for additional 3 minutes.
  4. Add in tomatoes, herbs, and cayenne.  Stir well and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes – until extra liquid is cooked off.
  5. Meanwhile, rinse fish and pat dry.  Salt and pepper vigorously.
  6. In skillet, scoot aside tomato mixture and place fish fillets on pan.  Spoon mixture over top of fish and place in oven.  Cook until fish flakes easily – about 15 minutes.
  7. When removing Brussels sprouts from oven, drizzle with lemon juice.
  8. To serve, plate fish alongside sprouts and brown rice.  Top fish with tomato sauce.

Beer Pairing: Bell’s Oberon.

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