Cornmeal Crusted Trout Fillets with a Simple Springtime Salad
After my four days of Midwest fried food and beer indulgence (and last night's rather rich mac n' cheese) I was definitely in the mood for something on the lighter side. One of my favorite quick and healthy go-to recipes is a nice piece of seared salmon over a bed of baby greens and a homemade balsamic dressing. With this tasty thought in mind, I headed to my local Whole Foods seafood section to find that the usually exorbitantly priced salmon was . . . well, even more exorbitantly priced. At over $20 for a pound of this delicious fish I found, to my surprise, that there was something that would come between me and one of my favorite meals . . . and that thing was $20. Not easily discouraged when it comes to creating yummy food to put in my face, I scanned the fish selection for a more moderately priced option. Ahhh, trout. Yeah, it's trout- nothing to usually write home about, but I thought I'd give it a try. Simple, white, fleshed, and incredibly cheap. I walked away with a large $2 fillet figuring I would use a typical lemon-butter treatment on the fish and call it done. Later, while surveying the cupboards, however, inspiration hit! The cornmeal crust adds a light, crisp texture to the tender fillet. This dinner was a snap to throw together and perfectly paired with a (big) glass of sauvignon blanc. It's good stuff served atop my simple salad, but try it in colder months alongside potatoes and creamed spinach for a heartier meal. Enjoy!
- 1 lb. trout fillets, 4 fillets with skin
- 1/2 c. medium ground cornmeal
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 10 oz. mixed baby greens
- 1 lb. fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and sliced crosswise
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp. honey
- 2 tsp. Dijon mustard
- 3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 c. exra virgin olive oil, plus extra for cooking the trout fillets
In a small bowl, whisk together garlic, honey, mustard, vinegar, and 1/4 c. olive oil. Season dressing with salt and pepper and set aside.
In a shallow dish, mix cornmeal, paprika, cayenne pepper, and pepper flakes until ingredients are combined. Season trout fillets with salt and pepper, dredge through flour then dip in beaten egg. Dredge fillets into cornmeal mixture until they are completely covered. Set aside.
In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium. Add fillets to pan and fry about 2 minutes per side until the cornmeal coating begins to turn golden brown. Remove fillets from pan and set aside. Divide greens among four plates and top with strawberries and sliced avocado. Dress with balsamic dressing and then top with trout. It's a pretty tasty dish!