parchment-baked lemon & basil trout

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This is a no-fail recipe. IT IS SUPER EASY TO MAKE. I have made this dish with both salmon and trout (upwards of 20 times) and it’s always a hit; packed with flavour and never dried out. If you’re looking to make an impressive meal, but don’t necessarily have the time for something extravagant with a ton of steps, then look no further! Ready in 20 minutes, with about 5 minutes of prep? Yes, please.

Oh, and leftover trout (or salmon) is great in a sandwich with sliced cucumber and cream cheese. Sometimes I don’t even wait for leftovers, and make the sandwiches right away.

This recipe serves two, but is very easy to adapt for serving more people.

Ingredients

2 trout fillets
2 tbsp julienne basil
2 full basil leaves
2 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper
6 thinly sliced lemon rounds
lemon wedges

slits
Preheat oven to 400°F, then start by making two deep slits in each fillet.

basil
Stuff the slits with julienne basil.

before oven

Place trout on a piece of parchment paper, then rub with olive oil and add salt and pepper. Top fish with lemon slices, then a whole basil leaf.

parchment
Wrap the parchment paper around the fish to create a packet. Alternatively, you can use kitchen twine, and tie up the parchment as a bundle. Place the packets on a baking sheet, and bake at 400°F for 20 minutes.

plated
Remove from parchment paper, and serve with lemon wedges.

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potato salad with mustard vinagrette

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For me, nothing says comfort food like potatoes! The other day, I picked up some local sausages and fresh buns, and decided that a potato salad would make a lovely side dish.

I have never been a huge fan of creamy, mayo-based potato salads. I have had an intolerance to eggs for years now, so I’m sure that’s had a lot to do with it. This recipe is tangy, has a nice kick to it, and is egg-free.

Ingredients

8-12 medium sized potatoes
1 cup vegetable broth
2 tbsp old style whole grain mustard
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
juice from half a lemon
zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, finely sliced
1/4 cup mixture flat-leaf parsley and chives, chopped
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese
salt & pepper

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Start by peeling, cleaning, and quartering your potatoes. Fill your pot with cold water, and add a cup of vegetable broth. This helps to flavour the potatoes, and the cold water helps to cook the potatoes evenly. Add the potatoes, then bring to a boil, uncovered. After about 5-6 minutes of boiling, start to check if the potatoes are done by poking them with a fork. They will be done once you can easily poke through without any resistance. Once cooked, drain, and place potatoes in a large bowl.
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In a small bowl, add mustard, rice wine vinegar, lemon juice and zest, olive oil, shallots, herbs, cheese, salt, and pepper. Mix together.

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Add the mustard mixture to the potatoes, and stir so that potatoes are well-coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, then serve.

lemon, leek & cremini mushroom risotto

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With fall’s cold weather seemingly here to stay, I still find myself craving some of the light-tasting, citrusy flavours of summer. This dish is perfect for a transition to the cooler months.  It is simple, yet bursting with flavour, and rich and creamy without being too heavy.

Ingredients

3 leeks, trimmed and chopped
10-12 cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 tbps extra virgin olive oil
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed and roughly chopped
6 tbsp butter
1 large onion, chopped
1 3/4 cups arborio rice
1 generous glass of white wine*
4 1/2 cups hot vegetable broth
juice of 1/2 a lemon
zest of a whole lemon
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mixed chopped chives and flat-leaf parsley
salt and pepper
garnish with lemon wedges and parsley, if desired

slice leek
Start by cleaning your leeks. The best way to get all the dirt and grit out is to cut off the tops and bottoms of the leeks, then make a lengthwise slice, as pictured above. You will be able to spread the layers apart, and really open up the leeks to get them nice and clean. Next, chop them up.

peel mush
Equally as important to clean are the mushrooms. Mushrooms act as sponges, so it is a good idea to peel them before rinsing them off with water. Otherwise, all the dirt from the outside will just get sucked to the inside, and despite your best effort to clean them, you will end up with an equally as dirty mushroom. Peel the skin off the mushrooms, as pictured above, then rinse with water, and slice.

leeks mush2

Next, add oil to a large pan, and cook the garlic. Garlic will burn quickly, so make sure the heat is not set too high. After about 1 minute, add the leeks and mushrooms, and coat them with the oil and garlic.

set aside
After about 10 minutes on medium heat, the leeks will become soft and start to brown slightly. Remove from heat and set aside.

melt butter
Using the same pan, add about 1/2 the butter, and let melt.

butter onions2
Add the chopped onion and salt to the buttered pan, and cook until onion becomes translucent, very soft, and slightly browned (about 15 minutes on medium heat).

add rice
Add the rice to the onion, and give it a good stir so that it is well-coated in butter. Then, add that generous glass of white wine, and make sure you have a glass yourself.  Continue to stir until the liquid has been absorbed.

*The wine that I used for this recipe was Cono Sur Viognier 2012 from Chile. It worked well in this recipe because it is quite aromatic and not too sweet; it complemented the creaminess and zest of the dish very nicely.

add stock
Stir in about 3/4 cup of veg stock at a time, until it has been absorbed. Stir constantly so that it doesn’t burn. I like to use a heat-safe rubber scraper so that I can make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan. Keep adding stock and keep stirring constantly until finally all liquid has been absorbed and rice is cooked through. It should be a creamy consistency, without being gluey or mushy. Remove from heat.

add herbs leeks
Add the rest of the butter and the Parmesan cheese to the rice, and stir until melted. Next, mix in the pepper, lemon juice, zest, leek mixture, and fresh herbs. Stir until combined.

plated header
Garnish with parsely, lemon wedge (and/or zest) and Parmesan.

Though I have made a few minor tweaks, the original recipe can be found at So Good and Tasty.