Sunday, 19 June 2011

Sea Trout for Dinner

Before industrialisation you couldn't walk through a puddle without standing on a salmon. Service staff had it written into contracts that they wouldn't get fed it more than twice a week. Pollution put an end to that when scarcity made it expensive. Then came salmon farming. In some of the country's most beautiful locations they mastered the intensive rearing of fatty fish whose flesh was only pink because of the dye in the food. The price plummeted and at one point the cheapest fish you could buy in Billingsgate Market was farmed salmon.
The wild fish is a different beast and a hell of a lot more expensive.

Wild Scottish salmon fillet was going for £34 a kilo in MacCallums yesterday. Luckily for me, wild Scottish sea trout fillet, which this is, was just £24 a kilo. I much prefer it's subtler flavour.
Impulse led me to pick up a few embellishments... samphire grass and squat lobsters.

Poached the squat lobsters in salty water, shelled them and used some of the cooking liquor in the samphire grass 'coulis'... how very retro.

The sea trout got pan fried, skin side down for a fair bit to get it nice and crispy. Oh and I scaled it first. The squat lobsters were warmed through in butter.

Went for a bottle of Gewurztraminer because I've become obsessed with trying to find unexpected things it goes with. I even put a few slices of ginger in the coulis to help marry food and wine. This Gewurz cost about £8 in Costco and was lovely.

But it didn't go with the dish. It was just too sweet and exotic, all loukoumi and lychee. Oh well, maybe I'll try powdered ginger next time.


  1. Well you learn something new every day... I'd never encountered a squat lobster prior to reading this.

  2. Worth a closer encounter if you ever happen across them Douglas. One of the few affordable crustaceans left... for now.