Cook the Book: Stuffed Salmon Trout with Almonds and Yogurt

[Photograph: Caroline Russock]

Similar to yesterday's Strawberry Risotto, I chose this Stuffed Salmon Trout with Almonds and Yogurt recipe from Recipes from an Italian Summer for the sheer fact that the combination of ingredients intrigued me. And it didn't strike me as a textbook Italian recipe.

Once I assembled the trout (rainbow in my case since my search for salmon trout was unsuccessful), yogurt, cumin, white wine, and green pepper, the ingredients made me feel like I was on an episode of Chopped. Luckily, I didn't have to come up with a plan for the ingredients laid out before me—the recipe had it all covered. Nor did I have to present my dish to a panel of judges who may or may not meet my yogurt-and-almond-stuffed trout with disapproving comments and or constructive criticism.

While mixing the stuffing of yogurt, almonds, and lemon juice I worried that it was a bit too thin to stand up to the 30-plus minutes of cooking time. In this case a thicker, creamier Greek-style yogurt is ideal. The regular plain yogurt I used infused the fish with all of its fantastic tartness but in the end, the extra moisture detracted from the delicate nature of the trout, and the final fish erred on the side of mushiness.

To equate this dish to an episode of Chopped, I don't think these yogurt-and-almond-stuffed trout would have landed me on the chopping block since the flavors were all there, and worked together very well. In retrospect, a thicker yogurt paired with a pan sear instead of an oven roast would have made for a really delicious and unusual trout—and possibly one worth winning a grand prize.

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Cook the Book: Stuffed Salmon Trout with Almonds and Yogurt

About This Recipe

Yield:4

Ingredients

  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • Scant 1 cup chopped blanched almonds
  • 2/3 cup plain yogurt
  • Juice of 2 lemons, strained
  • 1 pinch ground cumin
  • 2 salmon trout, cleaned
  • Salt and pepper
  • For the sauce:
  • Scant 1 cup chopped blanched almonds
  • Scant 1 cup white wine
  • 2/3 cup whole-milk plain yogurt
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
  • Salt and pepper

Procedures

  1. 1

    Preheat the oven to 400°F and brush a roasting pan with oil. Combine the almonds, yogurt, lemon juice, and cumin in a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and divide the mixture between the cavities of the fish. Brush the fish with oil, lay them in the roasting pan, and bake for 30 minutes, or until the flesh flakes easily.

  2. 2

    Meanwhile, make the sauce. Combine the almonds, wine, and yogurt in a pan, season with salt and pepper, and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the strips of green bell pepper and heat through. Transfer the fish to a serving dish, pour the sauce over them, and serve immediately.

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