Idaho trout with macque choux and Meyer lemon beurre blanc
I always buy seafood several pieces at a time, when the hankering hits hard, but then I cook one piece (or don’t) and the rest has to go to the freezer. This time, one had to come out. This little brown paper package contained two trout fillets.
Some astute readers will notice my flagrant substitution of fingerling potatoes for bell peppers, making this a mountebank macque choux, but don’t hate. I didn’t think to call this macque choux until I got to writing it up. Besides, macque choux literally translates as “brakes cabbages”, making potatoes the least of this dish’s problems. I don’t know (I’ve been saying that a lot lately, haven’t I). I just kind of knew how this was supposed to taste and named it later.
I sliced these giant banana fingerling potatoes and gave them a hot water bath to parcook, then drained and pan-fried them with minced shallot in olive and rendered bacon (the first taste of the pig, and it’s good). When they started to brown up on the edges, I tossed in a cup of frozen white corn and halved grape tomatoes. Then a squonch of chopped thyme and Meyer lemon zest, crunches of flaky sea salt and black pepper. Let it get brown and crusty, and then pull everything out of that pan, turn off the heat and deglaze with half the lemon’s juice and a splash of white wine. Whisk in a couple knobs of butter until creamy-dreamy. That’s your sauce, baby.
Now just rinse and pat dry the trout fillets, and salt and pepper the flesh side. Get the pan pretty hot (not quite rippin’, but hot), and lay the fillets in skin-side down. Now the most important step: walk away from the pan for a few minutes and don’t fuck with it. It’ll take all of your strength to not poke it or try to move it, but you gotta just leave that shit be.
Okay now you can flip it. Turn off the pan (the pan is still hot enough to cook the other side of the fish, so don’t freak out). Stir a sexy little wad of crème fraîche into the macque choux, then stir in the beurre blanc and a few fatty pinches of chopped parsley. Top the wee piles of sweet-crunchy/dense-crusty/tangy-juicy with a crispy trout fillet.
You know you’re dying to, so go ahead and throw some crunchy pinches of sea salt at it.