Trout With Chanterelles
I usually make trout because I know how much my husband adores it. And when I serve mushrooms, it’s because I adore them so much! So when I came across Becky Selengut‘s idea of pairing trout and chanterelles, I wondered if we might have found a dish that we both love.
What are Chanterelles?
Well, from their very name, they are si belle, non? Very beautiful, no? And if you read the first paragraph, you already know they are mushrooms and among some of the most beautiful. They are also some of the more popular of wild mushrooms and available only for a few weeks in the fall. They start showing up in the markets in late August and are gone by the end of September.
Chanterelle is pronounced “shawnterelle” and makes me think of a beautiful song simply because the word for song in French is chant. That’s my inner poet coming out in an awkward way!
That brush is a brush I got from Cat in France and I use it exclusively for brushing dirt and twigs off of mushrooms. I don’t know if that’s what it’s intended for, but it works for me since I don’t usually submerge mushrooms in water. However, as Becky Selengut says, “mushrooms that are covered in pine needles and mud are most likely already a little saturated with water from a rainy fall day” so sloshing them around in water isn’t going to hurt them much!
This recipe calls for whole sage leaves which are tossed into the skillet at the last minute. They fry up superbly not only lending their flavor, but perhaps becoming a bit crispy as well!
There’s just a couple of other flavors that round out this dish … bacon and pine nuts. Bacon for the smokiness and fat, and pine nuts for the buttery flavor and crunch. But mostly the buttery flavor!
I like to coat the trout fillets with seasoned corn flour. Sometimes when I’m sauteeing fish, I often use corn meal, but I think the finer mill of the corn flour compliments this dish better. BUT … if you only have corn meal, go ahead and use it! It’s your kitchen and your dinner!!
The best skillet for Trout with Chanterelles?
Well, I’m partial to cast iron, of course, and I have vintage ones with a smooth finish. There are some companies now making the old style of cast iron and they look really nice! Stargazer and Smithey are a couple of them. Stainless steel will work well, too, but do avoid coated, non-stick pans.
Start with the bacon in the skillet to get it browning and releasing fat. Remove it and lay the trout in, skin side up, and let it cook for a couple of minutes. Flip it and cook for another couple of minutes, or until it’s nice and brown.
If you are cooking more fillets than will fit in a skillet, put the first ones on a baking sheet in a warm oven while you cook the rest. When the trout is finished, add some oil, if needed, to the skillet and cook the chanterelles for 3-4 minutes. Add the sage leaves and pine nuts and let them cook for about a minute till they get toasty. Then add the bacon back in and deglaze the pan with white wine or mushroom stock.
I love to transfer the trout back into the skillet to serve it! The cast iron helps it keep warm … not that it needs to stay warm for long, though, because it’s so delicious, it will soon be devoured!
Trout With Chanterelles
- 2 (1-pound) whole rainbow trout heads, tails, and ribs removed
- salt and pepper to season
- corn flour for dusting the fillets
- 3 strips bacon cut into small dice
- 3 ounces chanterelles cleaned and trimmed
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup whole fresh sage leaves
- 1/2 cup dry white wine, or mushroom stock
- If you are making more fillets that will fit in a skillet, heat the oven to 175° to keep them warm while you cook the next batch.
- Season the corn flour with salt and pepper and dust the fillets.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate, leaving the fat in the skillet.
- Turn the heat up to medium high. When it's ready, fry two trout fillets skin side up, for about 2 minutes, then flip them over and cook for another 2 minutes, until browned. Transfer the fillets to an oven-proof dish to keep warm in the oven while you fry the remaining fillets. Keep the fillets warm in the oven while you prepare the chanterelles.
- Add some oil to the pan and when it is hot, add the chanterelles. Saute for 3-4 minutes, until they are lightly browned. Add the pine nuts and sage leaves and cook for about a minute. Add the bacon back to the pan and deglaze with the white wine or mushroom stock, scraping the pan to get all the delicious bits. Cook for another couple of minutes and adjust the seasoning if needed.
- Return the fillets to the skillet, spoon the mushroom mixture on top, and serve immediately.