Sunday, November 25, 2012

Rice-Seared Trout with Sage and Walnut Butter

I've been subsisting off leftovers since Thanksgiving, like most thankful Americans, but I broke the streak last night by going out for delicious Lebanese food with my boyfriend. And now tonight I've actually cooked for myself!

I combined a couple of trout recipes I looked up, did a little improvising on my own, and came up with this little beauty. Flavorful, juicy, and--rumor has it--healthier than turkey, cornbread dressing, and spinach madeleine.

First I made the sauce to be drizzled over the cooked fish. I combined the ingredients (listed at the bottom of the recipe) and whisked them up right nicely. The sauce was where I found myself improvising most, adding ingredients to taste. The grapefruit juice--for instance--was on a whim, but it worked wonderfully!

I set aside the sauce and used my food processor--or rather, the food processor attachment to my immersion blender--to grind up the jasmine rice. This stage of the recipe made me realize that if I ran a meth lab, it totally would have blown up my neighborhood a long time ago. With much lower stakes, I merely had a kitchen floor and counters full of grains. When my spice grinder was giving me far too many unattractive arm muscles--and consuming a lot of time--in producing ground rice, I attempted to use my immersion blender in a cereal bowl full of rice.

No bueno.

I got a deeper bowl!

...still no bueno.

I realized the rice needed to be safely contained to control its eruptions, which is when I arrived upon the absolutely ingenious idea of the food processor. It's fortunate that my blades are much sharper than their wielder.

I heated up a skillet to medium high, added the rice, and toasted those jumpy buggers.

I placed the toasted rice to the side to cool.

Then I took my cast-iron skillet and melted the butter over medium-high heat, adding in the sage chiffonade at the same time.

Once the butter was completely melted, I added in the walnut pieces. Once the butter had browned, I strained it into a bowl and discarded the sage and walnuts.

I took each filet and seasoned it with salt and pepper.

Then I coated it in butter and dredged it in the toasted rice. (I chose to keep the skin on my filet, but everyone else had their filets skinned.)

I reheated my cast-iron to medium-high, then added two filets at a time, skin-side down. Pressing down on the filets with a spatula, I seared them for about five minutes (until the skin was opaque) and then flipped them over and gave them another 10 - 20 seconds.

After that, I simply drizzled the fish with the sauce I'd made earlier and it was ready to serve! I kept the sides simple--a steamer bag of shelled edamame and toasted ciabatta bread. A lovely return to the kitchen, all in all.

Rice-Seared Trout
4 trout filets
1 cup uncooked jasmine rice

Sage and Walnut Butter
1/2 cup sage leaves, chiffonade-style
1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces
6 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
2 tablespoons grated ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons grapefruit juice


  1. Yum! Good thing you're not a meth cook for sure!

  2. Ultimately, I had to follow my heart to file clerking.