Tonight many of our readers will of course be sitting down to tables groaning with heavy delicious food. And as they waddle away from the table, they will perhaps be thinking to themselves "I wonder what's going on at Too Many Chefs?" (Okay, that is pure fantasy. I know you'll be thinking, "Where is the nearest comfortable couch or chair where I can discreetly open up my belt and hope that none of the dish-washing brigade see me?") But just in case you are checking in after a heavy meal, let me taunt you with a simple dish. A classic. One that doesn't lead to a failed liver or waddling or popped buttons. A nice little filet of trout topped with a savoury sauce of butter, wine and capers. Okay, the butter makes it a bit rich, but I'll bet it's nothing compared with Aunt Betsy's stuffing and sweet potatoes.
A quick and simple dinner for two. The fish is done in just about the amount of time it takes to cook the rice and the sauce takes only a few minutes longer.
Trout with brown butter and capers
2 filets of trout
3-4 Tbs butter
3-4 Tbs capers
1/3 cup dry white wine
a squeeze of lemon juice
2/3 cup rice
Put the water to boil for the rice. If you want to be really elegant, turn on the oven low so that you'll have a place to keep the fish warm while you make the sauce. Once the water is boiling, toss in your rice. Put half the butter in a frying pan and heat it until it begins to froth. Let it go just barely past the frothing stage so that it is on the verge of turning brown. Toss in the fish, flesh side down. Sprinkle the capers around the edges of the fish filets. Cover and let it cook over a medium heat. Stir the rice a bit. Once the fish is cooked through check the rice. If it's done (and it probably will be unless you are using wild rice, in which case you should have started it well before the fish, let's be honest) plate the rice and fish on two plates and put them in the warm oven.
Turn up the heat under the capers and scrape up the bits of fish that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the butter and, again, let it cook until it is just starting to brown. Add the wine and let it bubble away until it is reduced by half. Squeeze in a bit of lemon juice and taste for salt and pepper. It probably won't need salt. Pour over the fish and serve.
It's a lovely way to treat a nice piece of fish. Savoury and full of flavour. And done in less than half an hour, which is a blessing when you have to work on Thanksgiving day.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!