Tortellini have been, as always, the star of our holidays, either for a lunch with family or a dinner between...
Rainbow trout: recipes and flavour combinations for the holidays
Rainbow trout is an excellent, Italian product but it is, unfortunately, not very common and beloved outside its area of origin.
Although it might seem paradoxical, smoked salmon is eaten more often than smoked trout in Italy. Needless to say, salmon is, in the best-case scenario, fished in Norway or off the coast of Scotland, and in the worst-case scenario, which is usually the case, it is farmed somewhere like Chile and then it’s frozen and processed in Poland.
Not to mention the impact of intensive rearing on the environment, since these salmons have to ingest plenty of antibiotics and there also are some genetically modified specimens.
Moreover, did you know that 95% of farmed salmons are fed with pink colouring agents? That allows them to have the same colour as wild salmons which are pink since they naturally eat krill and shellfish.
So, let’s stop with this salmon trend and let’s put forward the delicacies of our territory which are not only healthier and fully traced, but also more delicious.
And since Christmas is approaching and I know that you want to impress your guests, and since we now all know that trout is much better than salmon (we got that, right?), make sure to shop for the holidays accordingly.
The first item on the shopping list is smoked trout. Since we take quality very seriously, we have selected the best trout which is made by Friul Trota on the banks of the Tagliamento river. As Giuseppe Pighin, the company founder, stated, “for a trout to taste good, it must be a good trout”.
So, in short, what makes this trout so special?
1 local fish, as if that’s not already enough
2 farms have a very low animal density and they respect the natural growth rate of fish
3 colouring agents and preservatives are forbidden
4 trout are fished and immediately processed locally, without useless and polluting trips around the world
5 salted by hand, cold-smoked (max 27 °C) with natural smoke obtained by burning wood, berries and aromatic herbs
6 fully manual deboning and finishing
We can’t really ask for more. So, now let’s move on to some recipes that are simple but remarkable, to impress your guests without wasting too much time in the kitchen.
Rainbow trout tartare and sour cream
This recipe is very easy to make: cut the trout in small bites and then dress it with good-quality olive oil. With the help of round dough cutters, or simply by using a cup, shape the tartare.
Let’s now make the sour cream. What? You can buy it ready-made in the supermarket? Yes, but this one tastes way better. Mix the same amount of liquid cream and yoghurt with one spoonful of lemon juice, cover with cling film and let it rest in the fridge for a couple of hours. Ready!
If you want, you can serve the tartare on a disc of toasted rye bread with a sour cream quenelle on top. It’s a pleasure for the eyes, too!
Toasted bread with butter and smoked trout
This recipe is even easier and it is a great classic. I make it with toasted baguette, but you can use any kind of bread you like, as long as it is crunchy and cut into thin slices.
Another important thing: butter should be very fresh and prime quality. I top it all off with some drops of lemon and garnish it with two chive scapes.
Fusilli pasta with smoked trout and artichokes
This is a simple and elegant pasta dish which not only impresses, but also tastes delicious, so a great dish all in all. In the summer time, I make it with zucchini, but in my opinion, it is always better to use seasonal produce and artichokes are in season right now.
If you’re in a hurry, you can prepare the artichokes the day before; I sear them in the pan (not for too long, they have to be intact) with some olive oil and garlic and let them simmer with some wine.
A trick: drain the pasta one minute too early, mix it with artichokes and add a ladleful of pasta water to create an enveloping sauce. Lastly, add off the heat smoked trout cut in strips and serve.
Rainbow trout flans
This recipe is slightly harder, but you can still make it the day before. First of all, you need to prepare the classic béchamel sauce, using 400ml of milk for 4 persons.
Once it’s ready and it has cooled down, add 2 eggs and 100g of rainbow trout. Split the mixture in 4 pudding moulds (those made of silicone are great) and place the moulds in a baking tray with raised edges with two inches of hot water.
Bake in the oven at 180 °C for 45 minutes and the flans are ready. They are ideal as starters, but also as a dish together with corn salad with nuts.
Salad with rainbow trout, pears, escarole and celeriac
Since we are talking about salads, here you have a nice recipe for an informal, but tasty and original dish. It is a fresh and light salad which is also ideal after the Christmas holidays.
First of all, peel and grate the celeriac, then wash the escarole and cut the trout in small pieces and the pear into strips (I don’t usually peel it).
Prepare the dressing for the salad: white yoghurt, salt, oil, vinegar and one spoonful of mustard. A true delicacy!
Smoked trout is a good, healthy, genuine and very practical product. It can be used in countless recipes which can be both gourmet and every-day recipes. We have seen some fancy combinations today, but after all, trout tastes good in a sandwich, too.