I recently made this stupendous recipe from Cooking Light and it was truly outstanding. The perfect meld of flavors and the ease of preparation combined to create a near perfect cooking/dining experience. Do you get the feeling I liked it? I liked it so much that I would have it for dessert, not because it is sweet, but because it would be the crowning glory of any meal. Plus, I like to save the best for last.
This wonderful recipe combines delicious trout with the best of summer’s bounty. It calls for luscious cherry tomatoes, garlic and fresh basil. It even calls for a little pancetta, which elevates the other flavors, and provides a tasty medium in which to cook the tomatoes. Okay, I just can't keep this secret another second longer. Here it is:
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 ounces chopped pancetta
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper, divided
½ teaspoon salt, divided
¼ cup small basil leaves
1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
4 trout filets
4 lemon wedges
First, I'll tell you how to make it according to the recipe, then I'll include a few Vicki variations that made me like it even more.
Heat the pancetta in a medium sized skillet over low heat. Cook 4 minutes or until the pancetta begins to brown. Add cherry tomatoes, garlic, 1/8 teaspoon pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cook for three minutes or until tomatoes begin to soften. Remove from heat, stir in basil leaves.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle fish evenly with remaining salt and pepper. Add 2 filets to the pan and cook 2 minutes on each side. Remove from skillet and keep warm. Repeat the procedure with the remaining filets. Top fish with tomato mixture and serve with lemon wedges.
Okay, here are the Vicki variations. The night we made this, we were absolutely blown away. We consumed more than half of the yummy tomato mixture even though we ate only 2 of the trout filets. The next night, we ate our leftovers – the trout warms up beautifully in the microwave by the way. I still had about ¾ cup of tomatoes that I had not cooked. Since I thought we needed more of the tomato mixture, I cooked 2 ounces of chopped pancetta first.Then I removed it from the skillet and drained it on a paper towel. Next I cooked the chopped garlic in the fat left from cooking the pancetta. When it began to brown and release its aroma, I added my tomatoes. When they were ready, I added them to the warmed tomato mixture left over from the day before. Rather than add the basil at that point, I reserved it. I plated the filets, topped them with the crisp pancetta and sprinkled the shredded fresh basil on top. I must say I preferred this method. The pancetta stayed crunchy, adding a nice textural note. I also liked the fresh basil sprinkled over the top so that it retained both its bright color and flavor. Don't forget the lemon – you need that top note of acidity.
Please make this soon! Maybe not for the Fourth of July since the colors are more reminiscent of the Italian flag than Old Glory, but include it somewhere in your weekend menu. It's restaurant quality and worthy of your favorite friends and family.
You will thank me. Arrivederci for now!