Good morning my lovelies!
Have you ever put yourself in an awkward and uncomfortable situation only to realize a moment too late that its happened?
After work on Friday I made my way down from the office to the liquor store buy my very-necessary and thoroughly enjoyable Friday night bottle of wine only to find myself at the till stuck between a rock and a hard place. By rock I mean an impatient cashier and by hard place I mean the angry, cursing, growling man behind me.
The 5:00PM rush in Toronto’s Union Station is nothing to smirk at – the 5:00PM rush in Toronto’s Union Station liquor store is madness. Angry financial people want their booze and they want it now. It wasn’t until I found myself between rock and hard place that I accidentally selected a $40.00 bottle of wine when I meant to choose a $20.00 one. With a line up of 15 people behind me. Not fun.
When I heard the cashier say “$45 please”, I realized my bad. Slightly panicked by the hostility in the room and a little taken aback by the price I light-heartedly joked that I’d be “having myself some good wine tonight!” She was having none of it. And Growly Mc-Growlerson behind me was inching closer and closer. Instead of admitting my mistake and returning the bottle to it’s rightful shelf, I graciously paid for the thing and tucked it – carefully – away in my purse. Yes, I carry my wine in my purse.
Lesson learned: Pay very close attention to the price tag and the corresponding bottle of wine. If that fails, take the bottle and run.
Second lesson learned: That wine is fucking fantastic and elegant and smooth and bold and everything a 40 dollar bottle of wine should be.
Speaking of fantastic, elegant, smooth and bold… Trout is huge out here. Probably because of the prevalence of lakes. Lakes = lake fish. Trout, in this case. And I couldn’t help but make me some for dinner the other night. This dish would make for a great weeknight meal, particularly if you make the gnocchi on the weekend, but is also indulgent enough to pair with a great $40 bottle of vino. Aye.
Pan Seared Trout on Bacon Green Beans with Chive Buttered Gnocchi
Yield 2 servings
- 2 6oz. Filets of Trout, skin on.
- Couple of Big Handfuls of Green Beans, pointy end-bits chopped off.
- 5 or 6 Slices of Good Quality Bacon, chopped.
- 2 Shallots, peeled & thinly sliced.
- 1/4 C Toasted Almonds, roughly chopped.
- 1 Preserved Lemon Wedge (sub zest and juice of one lemon if necessary).
- 1 Batch of Basic Gnocchi*
- Small Handful of Chives, chopped.
- Couple of Tbsps of Butter.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
- Coarse Sea Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper.
- Pat the fish dry of excess moisture with a towel and season both sides generously with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Bring 2 pots (one larger, one smaller) of salted water to a boil over high heat.
- Once the smaller one is at a rolling boil, throw the beans in. Boil for 2-3 minutes or until the vegetables are a bright green and a fork pierces them without too much effort, yet still hold their integrity. Drop into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process and keep the bright green color. Once cooled, remove from the water and set aside.
- Meanwhile, as the water heats, place a pan on a third burner over medium heat. Once it's hot, add the bacon. Fry until cooked through and crispy, stirring often. Remove from the pan and discard of all but a couple Tbsp of the grease. Return to the heat and toss the shallots and lemon into greasy pan and allow to soften. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add a dollop of butter. Once that's really sizzling, place the fish skin side down in the pan and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes or until skin is good and crispy. Flip, and cook a further 3 minutes or until fish is flaky and cooked through.
- Remove the fish from the pan, set aside. Throw the green beans, shallot/lemon mixture, almonds and bacon into same pan and heat through.
- As you heat the beans, etc., gently add the gnocchi to the larger pot. Boil until the little guys float to the top (should only take a minute or so) and immediately remove them from the water with a slotted spoon onto a plate. Once all the gnocchi have been boiled, dump out the water, rinse pot well and dry. Place back on the stove over medium-high heat with 2 Tbsp of butter. When the butter is melted and sizzling, gently toss in the boiled gnocchi, stirring often, until the little guys have a bit of color on both sides. Add to the veggie mixture.
- Place a couple of big scoops of the veggie/gnocchi concoction on a plate and top with cooked fish.
*When smashing the potatoes for the gnocchi, add the chives. Tada - chive gnocchi!