As the beautiful weather continues, so will my desire for lighter meals. In the winter I crave comfort food; summertime it’s all about grilling, and lighter meals with whatever is in season; because in winter, in the northern Midwest, very few fresh, local ingredients exist, so you have to make due. Also, it’s extremely cold, and the colder it is out, the more layers you wear, and the more layers you wear, the less anyone can see how much comfort food you’ve really been enjoying…Summer is a whole different ballgame, folks.
I have been craving seafood lately, not sure why, as for years I never regularly made fish at home, except for the occasional salmon; that’s all going to change. This pan-fried trout and fennel slaw is perfect for this time of year as it’s everything that is great about spring/summer; light, fresh, and simple.
This meal is incredibly easy to make and requires very little time in the kitchen. The trout is dredged through an assembly line of flour, egg wash, and breadcrumbs, then cooked in a cast iron skillet. The fennel slaw can be made while preparing the trout or beforehand to chill.
I love fennel as it’s incredibly good for you and has such a great flavor; almost a licorice flavor to it. It has such a wonderfully potent flavor to it raw, that you don’t need to add a lot of extra components with it; it’s simplicity is what makes it so great. That’s why I only added red onion and parsley to the fennel slaw, as the fennel is the real star, here, paired with the fish.
Ingredients- Yields 2-4 servings
- 1 lb trout
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 large fennel bulb, sliced thinly, fronds removed
- 1 small red onion, halved, sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup italian parsley, chopped
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp chives, minced
- salt + pepper
In a mixing bowl add fennel, onion, and parsley
In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, mayonnaise, chives, and a dash of salt + pepper
Combine dressing with fennel and mix thoroughly, set aside or chill until ready to use
In a bowl, crack open 1 egg and whisk together with milk to create your egg wash
Add flour to one plate, and breadcrumbs to another
Cut your trout into 4 small fillets, remove the skin from each fillet, by taking a pairing knife and carefully dragging it across the bottom of the fish to separate the skin from the flesh. Be careful so as you only cut off the skin and not lose any of the fish. I find it easy to hold onto the skin as you are cutting
Dredge each filet through the flour first, coating all sides, then the egg wash, then finally the breadcrumbs, making sure each fillet is completely coated
Heat cast iron skillet over high heat for 1-2 minutes
Add a drizzle of oil
Place each fillet in the skillet, and cook for about 4 minutes per side until nicely browned on all sides
Assemble fillets on a plate and top with fennel slaw