Recipe of the month: The "Blue" Trout
Our chef Sebastien Baud shares once again one of his favourite recipe. This month, we continue our trip in the Champagne-Ardennes Region, let’s discover the "Blue" Trout. Bon appétit !
I am delighted to see you again as we are beginning this month of November, which is getting chilly, already foreshadowing Winter. We are staying in Lorraine this month, for a last recipe before moving on to the Champagne-Ardenne region.
Our recipe this month comes from the Vosges area. The “Blue” trout, or “truite au bleu” recipe refers to a way of preparing wild trout, caught (or fished out of a farm) right before being poached for a few minutes in a vinegar-flavored bouillon. The vinegar changes the color of the mucus covering the trout’s scales, which takes on bluish tones, giving the recipe its name. This is one of the best ways to enjoy the subtle taste of the wild-caught trout.
A member of the salmonidae family, trout likes fresh, well-oxygenated river waters, with a temperature not exceeding 18°C. It is the fourth most consumed fish species by the French, after salmon, cod, and pollock. Only farm trout (rainbow trout) can be commercialized.
The artificial spawning technique for trout was created in the 15th century, but only developed at the end of the 19th century. France is the first rainbow trout producer in the world, with more than 400,000 tons every year. But trout originally comes from the United States.
Trout meat is good for the heart and cardio-vascular system, and very rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids. These good lipids, the famous Omega 3, are easily digested, which makes them a product of choice when building a healthy diet.
• 4 rainbow trout
• 40 cl (13.5 oz) white wine + 15 cl (5 oz) for the sauce
• 2 carots
• 2 onions
• 2 shallots
• 2 garlic cloves
• 1 bunch flat parsley
• 40 g (1.4 oz, about 3 tablespoons) salt
• Freshly ground white pepper
• 20 g butter (0.7 oz, about 1 ½ tablespoons)
• 50 cl (17 oz, about 1 ¾ cups) crème fraîche or heavy cream
Preparing the trouts
• Have your fishmonger clean the trouts, with heads on but gills off.
• Rinse them well without scrubbing the skin too much (keep it shiny), and remove red spots along the central bone.
Preparing the Bouillon
• Peel and slice the carrots into rounds. Peel and chop the onions and the garlic cloves.
• Pour the white wine in a pan with 40 cl (13 oz) water. Add the carrots, onion, garlic, parley and half the salt. Add pepper and bring to a boil. Let this bouillon cook for 30 minutes on very low heat.
• Strain the bouillon and set it aside to cool down.
• Dissolve the remaining salt with vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and reserve.
• Lay the trouts in a skillet or pan large enough to fit all four.
• Cover them with the boiling salted vinegar, then add the cooled bouillon. Put the skillet on the burner and cook on very low heat for 10 minutes.
Preparing the sauce
• Sweat the shallots in butter, without browning them. Add the remaining white wine (15 cl).
• Cook until the wine has completely evaporated.
• Add the crème fraîche/heavy cream.
• Add pepper to taste, but do not salt.
• Reduce the sauce until it reaches a creamy consistency, stirring regularly.
• Season to taste.
• Drain the trout, set them on a plate and cover with sauce, or serve the sauce separately in a gravy boat. Sprinkle with finely chopped chives.
• The fish can be served with steamed vegetables, spinach or buttered new potatoes.
With this excerpt from The Sacred Hill by Maurice Barrès (1913), I wish you a Bon Appétit and look forward to seeing you next month for a new recipe. Thank you !
"What charming vacations we spent in the old house in Borville! How happy Mr. And Mrs. Baillard were when their abbots arrived! The table was promptly covered with quiches, meat pies, Mirabelle tarts, fruits of all kinds and good wine from the paternal vineyard, on the Vahé hill!”