From the time you let slip to your nearest and dearest that you are expecting a little bundle of joy until the nipper is at least six months old, you can expect to hear it from every well-meaning soul on the planet: children will change your life, you have no idea. Well, actually, I did. I think all intelligent parents do: they know to expect sleepless nights, no social life, terminal chaos in their living quarters. Those well-meaning souls make sure they do. But there was one change I didn't expect, though I suppose I should have. As a result of the Boy, we actually eat a bit more healthily than we used to do.
It started even before he was conceived: less alcohol (just in case) and lots of green leafy vegetables for the folic acid. Then through pregnancy, NO alcohol and a nice varied diet. Since he started eating proper food, I make much more of an effort to buy organic vegetables and as large a variety as possible. This is for his sake, but we all profit from it.
And the latest? Well the (French) doctor has told me that it's time to take the boy off formula and put him on the fortified milk known here as lait de croissance. I have a real problem with this. The milk is enhanced with iron and "essential oils" but it's also endowed with a load of vanilla and sugar to cover up the taste of these goodies. Ick. I want to switch him straight to whole pasteurized milk. But that means I have to make sure he has lots of iron (luckily he loves spinach) and fish high in omega-3 oil. Well, heck, we can all use a little more of each. And so we started this week with a few filets of trout. I bought it for the boy, but we all had some. And in the spirit of the post-holiday period, I made it with NO cream. It was hard, may hand hovering over the crème fraiche tub, but I managed it. And the result was actually pretty tasty, with silky mushrooms and leeks smothering the pink delicate flesh of the fish. I added a handful of toasted almonds and pine nuts to add a bit of crunch and a sweet nuttiness. And that was our dose of Omega-3 taken care of for the day. A winner all around.
Actually, it's a well-known fact that almonds go well with the tender flesh of trout. Butter, nuts and delicate oily fish combine beautifully. Most of the trout amandine recipes I've seen over the years call for drowning your almond slices in butter, though, and here I tried toasting them to keep the feel of grease at a minimum.
Trout with leeks, mushrooms and nuts
2 Tbs unsalted butter
1 small leek
5 large mushrooms
2-3 trout filets
1/4 cup (abougt 80 grams) mixed pine nuts and chopped almonds
1/2 glass of white wine
In a heavy-bottomed frying pan toss the nuts on a medium heat until they just begin to brown. Be careful as they can go from "slightly brown" to "nastily burnt" in about half a second. Remove the nuts to a bowl and reserve them for later. In the same frying pan melt the butter. When it froths and bubbles, add the mushrooms (sliced) and leeks (also sliced in thin rings). Cook them until all is soft and slithery and the leek rings have separated. Remove them to another bowl with a slotted spoon, reserving the butter as much as possible. If the pan looks a bit dry, add another pat of butter and then slap the fish in the pan, skin side up. (In my experience, the skin ALWAYS sticks to the bottom of the pan and it doesn't add a nice flavor to the sauce you make afterwards. So keep it up.) Cook for five minutes or so, then pour in the wine and strew the leeks and mushrooms over the whole. Cover and cook until the fish is opaque through and through but not dried out. (It should only take a few minutes.)
Serve over a bed of rice in the following order: fish, then leeks and mushrooms and then a handful of crispy nuts. It shouldn't need much salt, especially if you've been generous in buttering and salting the rice.
Okay, it's still not weight-watchers but it's reasonably healthy and digestible. Oh yes, and extremely tasty!