I often eat vegetarian meals, mostly out of frugality and laziness (and a fear of germs and dislike of washing my hands). I still love a good piece of meat every now and then, and I am an avid seafood lover. However, fish is not something I crave often. Yet one day last week I wanted fish and I wanted it right then.
I used to be quite an expert fisherman (at least in my 10 year old mind I was). We kept a list of the types of fish we caught at our beach house, and of course, my sister and I got a little competitive. One fish that always eluded my fishing line was sand trout. Whenever we would fish, it always seemed that my sister would catch a sand trout but never me (she never caught any speckled trout though, ha!). And thus ended my fishing career almost as soon as it began. And ever since, I have always enjoyed eating trout as my fish of choice.
This recipe comes from the incomparable Ina Garten. I used red meat trout in this dish, partly out of curiously and partly because it was cheap since it was on the discounted seafood shelf. Feel free to use any type of fish you like, but I recommend red meat trout for people who enjoy a firmer fish. The same goes for the lentils: substitute with any grain you love. This meal creates a light but filling dinner, perfect for those still trying to keep up with any new years resolutions.
And who else is excited for the new Barefoot Contessa episodes every weekend? Although I am missing the Hamptons.
RED MEAT TROUT WITH LENTILS
1/2 cup dried lentils*
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 leek, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar.
2 4-6 ounce red meat trout fillets*
Olive oil, for brushing
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a saucepan combine wheat berries and chicken stock. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10-15 minutes (do not let all the chicken stock be absorbed yet).
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and leek. Cook until tender, about 5-6 minutes. Add remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil if needed and the celery and carrots. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add wheat berries and remaining chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Stir in thyme and tomato paste. Cook until liquid is absorbed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.
Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place fish fillets skin side down. Brush with olive oil. Season with lemon pepper and salt. Bake for 13-17 minutes (depending of the thickness of your fillets). Serve fish on top of wheat berries.
*Feel free to substitute your favorite grain (like rice, wheat berries, couscous, pasta) and your favorite fish (rainbow trout, salmon, tilapia).