This trout in a bag is sublimely easy to cook. This might seem like a strange mixture of flavours but, somehow, they work beautifully together.
Trout in a bag may not sound glamorous (say trout a la vapeur if you prefer) but it is one of the most simple of our best trout recipes. It can be tackled by a novice, but yet impressive enough to stand up to the job of a proper dinner table too. The best trout recipes encompass all levels of skill – in the kitchen and on the riverbank.
TROUT IN A BAG RECIPE, with Coriander, Pink Peppercorns and Wild Mushrooms
My daughter brought this recipe back with her after living in France and it is definitely impressive dinner-party food. The best thing, as far as I’m concerned, is that it can be prepared in advance (up to the cooking point) and then just shoved in the oven as you serve the starter.
■ 2 tsp pink peppercorns
■ 2 tsp coriander seeds
■ 2 tbsp hazelnut oil
■ 100g (31⁄2oz) dried porcini mushrooms
■ 50g (2oz) unsalted butter
■ Half a shallot, very finely chopped
■ 8 raw trout fillets
■ Salt and pepper
■ 4 greaseproof paper squares big enough to make into parcels
The day before, crush the peppercorns and coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle, remove to a small bowl and pour the hazelnut oil over them. Cover and leave to infuse for 24 hours.
Break or chop the dried porcini up into small pieces, place in a bowl and just cover with boiling water. Leave to get soft.
Drain, keeping the water, chop even more finely and set aside. Boil the reserved water fast until it is reduced to a tablespoon or two.
Melt the butter and, when foaming, tip in the shallot and cook until translucent and soft. Add the porcini and simmer for a few minutes, then add the reduced juice.
Spread out one raw trout fillet on each square of greaseproof, and season with salt and pepper.
Then divide the mushroom mix between each fillet.
Put the second fillet on top, making a trout “sandwich”, then drizzle the prepared coriander and pink peppercorns and oil over the top fillet.
Fold over the two ends of the greaseproof paper to seal, then bring the two sides towards the middle, folding down until you have a parcel.
Put the parcels on a baking tray and steam in a hot oven (200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6) for 10 minutes.
You can serve each parcel on a plate for guests to open themselves, with green beans and new potatoes with chopped fresh coriander leaves.
And if you are keen to know where to go and catch your trout first, then why not look at the top 10 trout rivers for inspiration. Or contact the Salmon and Trout Association for help.