Recipe of the Week -Pan Seared Maple Trout with Apple Turnip Compote

It’s been a long while since Nicola and I have had a chance to whip up a Friday recipe. This week however, despite battling colds, we produced a very yummy recipe that is also easy to make.

From the book, “This food, that wine”, we made Pan Seared Maple Trout with Apple Turnip Compote.

Now, don’t get too excited about the term “compote”, according the book it’s a culinary term for fruit cooked slowly in a syrup (in this case Maple) so that the fruit can maintain shape for visual and textual appeal.

Now the main component of this dish, the Trout, was in short supply this week in the grocery stores. We managed to grab the last 2 fillets at the local Sobeys; mind you we only checked at two places. They were beautiful fillets and we were excited to cook them. Nicola isn’t a big fan of red fish but Trout is an exception as it is both gentle enough in taste and texture to mimic white fish.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 3 rainbow trout fillets, halved vertically
  • 11/2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup of turnip, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened apple juice
  • 3/4 cup of any type of apple (spy is recommended) diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Recipe

The recipe was broken down into parts; first to prepare the compote and then to prepare the trout.

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Compote

Place a medium-sized skillet over medium hear then add turnip and apple juice and cook for 3-4 minutes or until turnip is just tender. We found this to be very underestimated in time as turnip is dense, we would recommend that you microwave the turnip a bit first to soften it up, otherwise your apple juice will boil off before the turnip is just tender. If fact, our turnip never did get tender.

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Next add the apples, thyme and lemon zest and cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until the apples are also tender but not mushy. Pull the pan from the heat and keep warm.

Trout

Pat the fillets dry and season with salt and pepper, put the skillet on high heat and ad oil. Allow for about 30 seconds for the oil to heat through.

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Add the trout skin-side down and let it cook for 1-2 minutes for the scales to get crispy. Flip the trout and add the maple syrup and lemon juice. Try to add the syrup and juice to various parts of the pan to spread the flavour around. The recipe says to cook the fish for another minute but I will suggest that you cook it to your preference. Remove the trout from the pan.

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Place part of the compote on the plate and add a piece of two of trout, then drizzle it all with the juice from the pan. Voila!

Wine

The recipe calls for Vidal to be the grape chosen to pair with this dish but any fruit-forward wine can be used; we used a Vinho Verde from Portugal.

Success!!

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This was a delicious dish due to the contrast of the turnip to the apple and maple syrup, it was very easy to make and the ingredients are readily available, highly recommended!

Chris

Recipe of the Week

For this weeks recipe of the week Nicola and I tried to make a simple appetizer. Sometimes we don’t feel like cooking something involved and a simple appetizer usually fits the bill. When we go out to a restaurant we often choose a few appetizers to minimize our portions and to maximize the different flavours…plus it’s normally cheaper too!

This week we made an avocado scallop tostada (tortilla) that we found on Myrecipes.com web site.

Avocado Scallop Tostada

The recipe was fairly simple and it was ready quite quickly. About the longest part was the preparation of the avocado paste.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup fresh Cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup greens (micro)
  • 2 ripe Avocados – halved
  • 1/4 teaspoon lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground Cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon Paprika
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 12 large scallops – cut crosswise
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 24 tortilla chips

 

Recipe

First the Cilantro and greens were combined in a bowl.

Dinner

Then the avocados were mashed and combined with the lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a second bowl, the lime zest was not added.

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The Cumin, remaining Salt, Paprika and the pepper were combined and sprinkled over the scallops. Cayenne pepper was not available at the time.

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The oil was heated and the scallops cooked for about 1-2 minutes a side. Sadly the scallops were not yet completely thawed and water came out of the scallops when they were cooked which dulled the spices.

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Lastly, the avocado mixture was spread on the tortillas and the scallops were placed on top. We purchased smaller scallops so we added 2-3 per tortilla which may have also changed the flavour. In total we made 12 separate tortilla chips with scallops on them.

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We prepared a second batch of scallops, 12 more this time, cooking them in Blackberry Ginger flavoured oil from Liquid Gold oils. This certainly added a bit more flavour but we still agreed that something more would need to be added if we were to try the recipe again.

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Verdict

We both agreed that while they were good, there was a bit of a lack of flavour, a bit of a punch missing. Nicola suggested that adding garlic into the avocado mix would add some much needed flavour. Also using large scallops would have perhaps concentrated the spices and flavour more…and next time we will completely thaw the scallops before cooking.

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Hope you enjoyed the quick recipe that we tried this week, Nicola and I learn something every time that we try and cook something new 🙂

Chris

Recipe of the Week

Last week Nicola and I tried a vegetarian, fruit recipe called “Watermelon Curry with Black Beans and Paneer” from the recipe book, “The Modern Vegetarian” by Maria Elia. Naturally we didn’t have any Paneer handy so we used tofu. Paneer, by the way, is a form of curdled cheese. We also used Canola oil instead of Grapeseed oil and substituted yellow curry for turmeric.

Ingredients:

  • Watermelon
  • 2 tablespoons Canola oil
  • 1 white onion
  • fresh ginger (6 cm)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 red chilies
  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 2 teaspoons yellow curry
  • 4 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • pepper
  • 250 g of tofu
  • 400 g of black beans
  • dried coriander (powder)
  • sea salt
  • juice 1-2 limes (not used)

Recipe:

First off I sliced up the watermelon and carved off the outside. I placed about 3/4 of the watermelon into my blender and puréed it. I cut about another 1/3 into chunks to be added later in the cooking process. I ended up with a small chunk of watermelon left over.

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Heating half of the oil in a pan we added the onion, ginger and garlic and cooked over medium heat until softened.

We then added the chilies, lemongrass and spices and cooked it for another minute or so.

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We then added the purée and brought it to a boil, then simmered until it reduced by about 50%. This really is the key step as upon adding the whole amount of watermelon the spices are doused and the acidic nature of the juice comes out.

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The tofu was fried in the rest of the oil then dabbed to remove any excess oil.

After the liquid had reduced we stirred in the beans, tofu and cubed watermelon. The powdered coriander was added and we aded a bit of salt.

Once warmed through we served the liquid with coconut basmati rice that we had prepared in our rice cooker.

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Verdict:

Initially we had reservations about the amount of watermelon juice we would be using and whether the spices would show through. We needn’t have worried, after reduction the spices melded wonderfully with the watermelon and the rice. The dish was truly delicious and we have been enjoying leftovers for a few days. The blending of the fluid and spices only gets better with time.

You need to demonstrate a bit of faith and patience with this recipe, however in the end it will be a nice change of pace meal, especially using the watermelon, which was a first for me.

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