Our friend, J, once again went fishing and caught trout, redfish, and a tuna. We were recipients of all three. Although I had something planned for dinner the night he brought the fish over, those plans went out the window.
My husband found a recipe for John Besh's Trout Amandine on a blog written by a food journalist who ate at Luke's. I decided to give it a try. I read through a blog post several times. He never paid tribute to the origin of the recipe. Normally, you would think, if you ended up with a recipe for a New Orleans' favorite dish while dining in a favorite New Orleans' chef's restaurant, the post might cross over from the dining experience itself to obtaining a recipe. You know, meeting the chef, a tour of the kitchen, or the waiter secretly stealing a recipe, but no, nothing is mentioned. I had to read the recipe a few times as well, because something didn't seem right as it pertains to the sauce. I made it as written but I have my doubts that it's directly from John Beshs' mouth.
You should know by now, if you are a frequent reader, that your success will come if you get all the prep first. What's neat about this type of cooking is that trout is a thick fish. This dish can be made and finished in the oven so it is served piping hot. Trout is also long, so it's best to have a spatula made specifically for fish.
Rinse 1 Fillet of Trout per person and let dry on a paper towel. These quantities work for 3 people so increase as needed. Season the fillets with Salt, Pepper, and Something like Tony Chachere's, Zatarain's, or Paul Prudhomme's Creole Seasoning.
Using 2 flat bottomed dishes, add to one 1 Cup Buttermilk and to the other 1 Cup Flour.
For the sauce, have at the ready 1 Stick UnSalted Butter, 1/2 Cup Sliced Almonds, (I would Zest the Lemon first) but you need the Juice of 1 Lemon, 1 TBL Fresh Chopped Parsley.
Now for the fun part. Preheat oven to 300.
Preheat the empty pan for the fish over medium heat. Add 1/2" Olive Oil and heat thoroughly. Dredge the fillets, one at time, in the flour, the buttermilk and back in the flour. Place fillet in the hot oil and repeat. Turn once after the first side browns, about 5-7 minutes. (NOTE: As the second side is cooking, preheat the empty skillet to being used for the sauce to medium high.) Cook the second side for about 5-7 minutes and place on a sheet pan and finish in the warm oven.
As soon as the fish is in the oven, make the sauce. Add the Butter to the pan. Once it melts and begins to brown along the edges, add (and here is where I didn't like the recipe) add the Almonds, Lemon Juice and the Parley. Cook until the almonds brown. Season with Salt. Plate the fish and top with the sauce.
You can brown almonds in butter but not with the moisture of the lemon and mine didn't brown. I kept debating on doing it the way I felt was right but I thought I would give this a shot on account it is "John Besh's". I would've browned the almonds, added the lemon juice for about a minute to reduce and thicken slightly, then finished with the parsley for the last 30 seconds or so. Never one to pass up a chance to garnish with lemon zest, or better yet, I would've added the lemon zest it to the buttery browned nuts for 10-15 seconds right before I added the lemon juice. The oil form the rinds would've made that butter delicious. So for next time, those changes...
Anyway, I'll have to check out Luke's and order it for myself. None the less, the dish was tasty, and fattening, and I will make it in the future. To keep it light though, you can serve with sliced Creole Tomatoes served with salt and some warm crusty bread...you know so that sauce doesn't go to waste.