Gardening is such a big part of our daily home life these days. Not as something that takes up our time, but as something that really gives back and provides a great sense of connection to mother nature and a sense of accomplishment. Since having my brother build our first garden bed, we have not have them empty since.
I’ve written previously about our Aquaponic set up in the back yard which supplies us with fish and vegetables. Last winter we had a tank full of Rainbow Trout and now that it is summer, we have some Jade Perch that were started at the end of last summer and then lived in our tank inside during the winter, ready to go back out once the weather warmed up again this year.
Earlier in summer we had to harvest the fish in the tank because they are a cold weather fish and it was starting to get to hot. Half of them were frozen and the other half were smoked.
We decided today that it was time to pull some fish out of the freezer so that we could have some for dinner. So, off I went hunting through the recipe books to find some inspiration.
Early on in my blogging journey, I came across the Down to Earth Blog by Rhonda Hetzel and loved so much of what she had to share, that I purchased her book. I’ve since purchased two more copies and given them to my mum and my aunt, who both love it as much as I do. It was on her blog that I discovered the book Hugh’s Three Good Things… on a plate by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. This, just happened to be the book that I was drawn to today when looking for something simple that we could do with the Trout that would be something different to what we’ve done previously.
I flicked through the pages and came across a recipe with Trout, watercress and spelt. Remembering the Aquaponics has been overgrown with the watercress, I decided this was what we were having for dinner. Simple and tasty.
But… Once the trout was defrosted and there was no turning back. I went outside in the crazy summer heat to grab a bowl full of watercress, to find it was now dead and crispy! Not to worry, the fridge was more than laden with enough food to feed a small army for a week so the creative juices got a flowing and we modified the recipe to suit what we had.
What was supposed to be super simple, became a little more complicated, but was still tasty and satisfying. Even after being complicated by the dog getting under my feet in the kitchen and me breaking the bowl with the delicious dressing all over the bench, trying to use buckwheat in place of the spelt – not so tasty, then ditching that idea and cooking some quinoa, forgetting to turn it down to simmer… and bloody burning it!
Most would have given up by now and just bought fish and chips or pizza, but no… I was determined!
The fish was the easy part really.
We started with:
2 Rainbow Trout – gutted, scaled and cleaned
1/2 onion, sliced
1/2 Tsp black peppercorns
2 Bay leaves
A few parsley stalks
Gently wash the fish under cold running water and lay in a saucepan that will allow them to lay flat comfortably. Pour over enough cold water to just cover then add the other ingredients. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 8-10 minutes. Life out the fish on to a board and allow to cool completely. Easy part, done!
50g Wholemilk yoghurt (We used Greek Yoghurt)
2 Tsp Dijon mustard
Juice of 1/2 lemon
pinch of sugar
Whisk the ingredients together and adjust to taste. The original recipe had 1/2 Tsp English mustard, I only had Dijon in the fridge and felt that it needed more than just 1/2 Tsp.
I ended up making a salad of Cos lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and some quinoa tossed through. The trout was then skinned and boned and gently broken up and tossed through the salad. We then topped it with the dressing, what I could scrape up from the broken bowl anyway… It was a dressing that I will be adding to my repertoire, it was really super delicious. Tangy with a little sweetness but I think could be pretty versatile. I’d like to try it over some hot potatoes and beans as a warm salad mmm mmm…
I’m sharing this recipe because it was actually really, really good!
Just one example of my creative process when it comes to food and making the most of what you have on hand.