This recipe is inspired by Jacques Pépin, from his book, Poulets & Légumes: My Favorite Chicken and Vegetable Recipes. Although he stuffed chicken breasts, I used trout. So, to be honest, the only part of his recipe I took was the mushroom sauce! I hadn't wanted to adapt the tapenade that much, but it turned out I needed to do so. (And, I added lemon because fish often requests it.) Pépin varies his recipes around, so I see no harm in these modifications.
Pepin calls for a mixture of black, green and Kalamata onions; since there are still no supermarket olive bars around, I bought just Kalamata olives. I didn't need a couple large stashes of olives, which I eat irregularly. Work with what's available!
Since I have stuffed trout before (but not with tapenade), I decided to up the level and "bread" this fish with almond.
I am able to find trout at supermarkets (when available) that has been largely de-boned. What remains is the backbone, fins and head. You can ask your fish monger to prepare your trout for you - or even adapt this recipe to another whole fish.
Prep Time: 30 minutes.
Cook Time: 15 minutes.
Rest Time: 4-5 minutes.
Serves: 2 per each trout.
Leftovers: Yes. The breading will likely lose any crispiness, however.
Almond-Breaded Tapenade-Stuffed Trout, with a Mushroom SauceINGREDIENTS:
- A generous1/3rd cup olives, pitted and chopped.
- 1 small peeled and sliced garlic clove (or 1/4 teaspoon garlic paste).
- 3 dried figs, chopped.
- 1 tablespoon rinsed and drained capers.
- 3-4 anchovy filets (in oil), chopped.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil.
- A handful of chopped parsley.
- Zest of half a lemon.
- Juice from 1/4 of that lemon.
- 1 trout, mostly deboned (the spine/backbone and fins are likely still to be attached). If the head is present, you can leave it on (or not).
- 1 small/medium egg, beaten.
- About 1/4-1/3 cup ground almond (NOT ground down to flour!)
- 1/4 lemon, cut into wedges for garnish.
- A few sprigs of parsley, for garnish.
- 2 tablespoons butter (1/4 stick in the US)
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped mushrooms. Use your choice, or a combination. Remove any inedible parts (some types of mushroom stems, for instance) before measuring. (I used Hen of the Woods and Baby Bella mushrooms)
- 1/4 cup chopped onion.
- 1/4 cup dry white wine. (For wine-free, try a dry non-alcoholic cider.)
Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
For the tapenade, mix all the tapenade stuffing ingredients together, pulse lightly in a food processor. Or, very finely chop it all together.
Take the trout, check for any residual pin bones, then stuff the fish.
In a wide bowl, put the beaten egg, and dip the trout into the bowl, coating with egg.
In a second bowl, put the ground almond, and dredge the trout into this, coating both sides with the ground almond.
Place on a rack, and put the rack on a cookie sheet to catch any droppings, and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through.
Make the mushroom sauce while this is baking. Start with one tablespoon of butter (let it melt), add the mushrooms and onions, and sauté for about 3 minutes. (I also added in the rest of the tapenade, which is quite optional!) Add the wine, and let cook down for another five minutes or so. Season with a little salt and pepper. Stir occasionally. Add more of that butter should the sauce seem to need it.
When the fish is cooked to your satisfaction, remove from the oven and plate it on a platter. Let sit for 4-5 minutes to rest. As this serves two, you will be dividing this fish in half for individual plates. Add the mushroom sauce just prior to serving (to keep some of the crispiness), and garnish. Or, you can place it to the side of the trout.
Enjoy! A simple salad, perhaps with home grown or local tomatoes, might be tasty along side.