We gave ourselves a simple goal for this year, get good at cooking fish. In the past we shied away from even ordering it at restaurants because it was always second fiddle to one of the many shellfish specials at places like Red Lobster. Have you ever heard of their Endless Troutfest promotion?
Didn’t think so. It’s just not as exciting. But fish done right can taste amazing! It’s lean and full of protein, as well as being a good break from the usual terrestrial meats.
At first glance, cooking fish can be intimidating. You do need to keep an eye on it because it’s a protein that can easily go from underdone to overcooked. Preparing it on the stove puts the control back in your hands. Using a cast iron pan gives you a fantastic sear that will liven up any seasoning you throw on it.
We decided to test the waters and practice with Cast Iron Seared Rainbow Trout and Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon from America’s Test Kitchen’s Paleo Perfected.
What we’ve learned with this recipe about cooking fish:
- Thaw in the fridge overnight if not using fresh fish. This is the safe way to do it. We’ve run into problems where it’s not thawed by the time we want to cook. Make sure to put it in the front of your fridge to avoid this. You don’t want to try and cook the fish when it still has ice crystals. Be sure to plan ahead so your fish is thawed in time.
- Use a fish spatula. This makes getting under the fish and flipping it much easier. Regular spatulas have longer handles which means less control. You want to handle your fish carefully when flipping or it will turn into a flaky mess in the pan.
- Dry your fish completely. This can be a fish out of water story that ends well if you dry it with paper towels. You can’t get a good sear for a crispy skin; it will simply steam if it’s not completely dry first. Not only does this maillard reaction give the fish more flavor, it also helps with the aforementioned problem of flaking apart in the pan. Speaking of which, use ghee for your cooking oil.
- Ghee works better than butter. Clarified butter already has the water removed.
- Don’t remove the skin prior to cooking. The skin will hold the fish together making it easier to flip and is easier to remove afterwards.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article. As always, comments are welcome and encouraged!Print
Cast Iron Seared Rainbow Trout and Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
- Paleo Friendly
- Great Spice Mixture
- Bacon makes the Brussel Sprouts burst with awesomeness
Recipe from Paleo Perfected
- Prep Time: 15 min
- Cook Time: 20 min
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Cast Iron
- Cuisine: Seafood
For the trout:
- 4 (6-ounce) skin-on trout fillets
- ¼ cup ghee
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- Lemon wedges
For the brussel sprouts:
- 1 ½ pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
- 4 slices bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
- 1 shallot, sliced thin
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ teaspoon minced fresh thyme
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Microwave Brussels sprouts, 1 tablespoon water, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper in covered bowl, stirring occasionally until Brussels sprouts are just tender, about 6 minutes. Drain well.
- Cook bacon in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate, and set aside.
- Add shallot to bacon fat left in skillet and cook over medium-high heat until softened, about 1 minute. Stir in garlic and thyme, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add drained Brussels sprouts and cook until spotty brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in crisp bacon, and then transfer to oven safe serving platter and keep warm in oven.
- Wipe skillet clean with paper towels. Combine coriander, mustard, 2 teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper in bowl. Pat trout dry with paper towels and season with spice mixture. Heat 2 tablespoons ghee in now-empty skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering.
- Place 2 fillets flesh side down in skillet and cook until browned on first side, about 3 minutes. Carefully flip fillets and cook until browned on second side and until trout flakes apart when gently prodded with paring knife, about 3 minutes; transfer to platter in oven. Repeat with remaining 2 tablespoons ghee and remaining 2 fillets. Serve with lemon wedges.
*We recommend using a fish spatula to remove the fish from the cast iron pan.
Keywords: rainbow trout, brussel sprouts, bacon, cast iron, seared