We live in a neighborhood. I did not want to live in a neighborhood. I came from open green spaces. Corn, bean, and wheat fields surrounded our farm house and an old red barn sat next door where our Black Labrador gave birth to puppies in the abandoned horse stalls. I could see the spring storms roll in from miles away and the walls of rain approach across the newly plowed fields, turning them a darker shade of brown one row at a time. For me, the thought of living in a place where houses sat close together and nature was reduced to manicured lawns was less than inspiring.
My husband, on the other hand, grew up in a neighborhood. He rode his bikes on sidewalks (I only did that when we visited Grandma ‘in town’), walked to friend’s houses, and ordered pizza to be delivered to their doorstep.
So, when we started looking for a new home for our new married life, the search was far and wide to find just the right combination. Fortunately I worked for a new home builder and I stumbled upon a section of new lots. And one of them had a view of nature out the back, and a neighborhood out the front. Perfect. SOLD.
The other day I was in the side yard working on a couple of raised garden beds, and two teenage boys walked by with fishing poles and gear. I struck up a conversation with them about their luck down at the pond and the size of fish they were getting. They told me they were getting large enough fish for dinner.
As I continued to work, my mind drifted to fish recipes. It wasn’t long before I had a plan in place for a family gathering, a large trout, and mushroom risotto. The messages went out, invitations accepted, and I headed off to the fish market*.
*Our area has a lovely fish market, and it seems to be a well-kept secret. Foremost Seafood Ltd. is located in Kettering, Ohio and has high quality fish. I love the way their system works, too. When you walk in, you are handed a freshly printed sheet of their current inventory, complete with prices. On this particular day, Stealhead Trout was listed as fillets. I asked if I could have one half of a whole fish. The employee went to the back, had it cut, and came out with it on a tray. At this point I could decline the fish because of quality or size, or accept the fish. I gave her the nod and she disappeared again to wrap it up and put it on ice. I rang out at the counter and off I went. (This is in no way an advertisement for Foremost Seafood and I am receiving no payment or benefit from them – I just really want the local folks to know about this awesome place.)
A few notes about stealhead trout. Most fish lovers are big fans of salmon. I am too, but I can really get into trout as well. It is a tad milder than salmon, and a tad less dense, which are two qualities I like. The third advantage to trout is it can be much less expensive. I paid two dollars less per pound for mine, so that was a savings of seven bucks. Feel free to use this same method for salmon. It will be just as delicious.
Stealhead Trout with Rosemary
(adapted from the Little City Cooking School)
1 half of a whole trout (or 4-6 large fillets)
1 clove garlic, minced or grated over a microplane
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
1 whole lemon (Zest of whole lemon, juice of 1/2 lemon. Thinly slice the remaining 1/2 for garnish)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
Adjust oven racks – the first rack, on the second notch from the top. The second rack, on the second notch from the bottom. Pre heat oven on high broil (or 500 degrees).
Lay a Silpat baking liner, or aluminum foil in a rimmed baking sheet.
Thoughts on brushing your pan with olive oil: If you like to eat the skin, or serve with the skin on, you will want to oil your baking surface. If you do not want the skin, skip the oil and the skin will stick to the surface making it easier to remove the skin. Do not use parchment paper, as it will catch fire under the broiler.
In a 1-2 cup bowl, combine all the ingredients (except the fish) and blend well with a fork or small whisk. (I do this ahead of time and let the flavors mingle in the fridge for up to a day).
Unwrap the fish and lay skin side down on the prepared baking sheet. If the fish is damp, blot it gently with paper towels.
Using a small rubber spatula, spread the rosemary blend evenly over the top of the fish.
Place on the top rack of the oven and broil for 3-5 minutes, careful not to burn the rosemary topping.
Lower the fish to the bottom rack and lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake for about 10 minutes per inch of fish thickness. Check the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer. It should read 140 degrees. If not, bake at three minute intervals until internal temperature is reached.
Serve hot, or cold.