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Trout in a Parcel with Lemon, Fennel & Crème Fraîche

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A rainbow trout is a thing of beauty: bluish-green torpedo body adorned with dazzling scales that catch the sun’s rays and speckled with black spots on the back and fins. To quote Arnold Gingrich, ‘a trout is a moment of beauty known only to those who seek it”, and so we did. There is just something whiz-bang about seeing a fish emerge from a paper cocoon all gloriously stuffed and steaming with French opulence; its death a mere acumen for its resurrection. Everyone likes to receive parcels containing goodies, and the truite en papillote is one parcel that has nothing fishy about it and is sure to get anyone hooked.

(Recipe courtesy of Rachel Khoo)

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Ingredients

  • 300 g of Baby Potatoes (washed and scrubbed)
  • 4 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Zest of 1 Lemon (finely grated)
  • 1 tsp of Salt (to taste)
  • Black Pepper (to taste)
  • 2 Whole Trout (cleaned and gutted with bones left in them)
  • 1 Fennel Bulb (trimmed and chopped into slices)
  • 4 Heaped tbsp of Crème Fraîche
  • Lemon Wedges

Details

Servings 2
Adapted from cookism.tumblr.com

Preparation

Step 1

1. Leaving their skins on, steam potatoes until almost tender. This will take about 10 minutes. Try to choose evenly sized baby potatoes so they all cook using the same amount of time. Slice them when they are cool enough to handle.
2. Preheat the oven to 170C. Mix lemon zest, salt, pepper and olive oil in a bowl.
3. Place each trout on a large sheet of baking paper. Rub the mixture onto the surface and inside of the fish thoroughly.
4. Stuff trout with potato and fennel slices. Place the rest of the potatoes on the paper, beside the fish.
5. Bring the edges of the baking paper together and fold over twice to enclose. Twist and tighten both sides with string to form a sealed parcel. The parcel should look like a giant sweet.
6. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. To check for doneness, open a parcel and gently lift up the skin of the fish using a fork - the flesh should look opaque and flake easily.
7. Serve straight from the parcel with a generous heap of crème fraîche and lemon wedges. For us, we finish off by drizzling a little olive oil for extra flavor and presentation.

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