Monday, June 22, 2015

Truite Amandine

     A Classic!
     The classic method of preparing Trout Amandine is the best.  A bit of skill is involved with making Trout Amandine the right way. 
     Sprinkling dry toasted almonds over broiled trout is too easy and this style is not the original Trout Amandine.  The almonds should be sautéed in butter till they are golden brown.  This method creates the most intense almond flavor possible.  The almonds should be cooked shortly before the trout is prepared, so the almond aroma is at a peak.
     The trout should be sautéed and not broiled for Truite Amandine.  The skin should be fairly crisp.  Good sauté cooking skills produce the best tasting trout.  

     Drawn butter is low temperature melted butter that is separated from the liquid milk fats.  Many chefs mistakenly call drawn butter clarified butter.  Clarified butter is cooked till more flavor is achieved.  Clarified butter is butter that is cooked to a golden yellow color and the water evaporates while the milk fats stick to the bottom of the pot.  The butter is skimmed and poured through a fine mesh strainer, then clear pure golden color butter that has a very light noisette flavor is the finished product.  
     Beurre Noisette is a light brown butter that has a hazelnut aroma.  Beurre Noisette is cooked for a little more time than clarified butter.  
     Beurre Meunière is brown butter.  The butter is cooked till it becomes a caramelized medium brown color.  
     Beurre Noir is black butter.  The butter is cooked till the milk fats and butter turn very dark brown and a rich caramelized flavor is created.  Beurre Noir should be at a very high temperature when it is poured over fish to achieve the best flavor.  

     The classic sauce for Truite Amandine is Beurre Meunière that is flavored with herbs and lemon.  The brown butter can be made in the same sauté pan that the trout is cooked in.  This requires perfection sauté cooking techniques.  Cooking butter till it becomes brown in a small sauce pot is also a good method.  Either way, the brown butter needs to be poured through a fine mesh strainer, and reheated before adding the herbs and lemon.  The lemon juice will cause foaming, but the lemon flavor will infuse with the caramelized butter flavor.  

     *This entire recipe yields 1 entrée!

     Sautéed Almonds:
     After the almonds are sautéed to a golden brown color, they must be transferred to a shallow dish and spread on the plate, so the carryover heat does not continue to cook the almonds.  A thick pile of hot sautéed almonds will scorch in the center of the pile!
     Step 1:  Heat a sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of clarified unsalted butter.
     Add 3/4 cup of thin sliced almonds.
     Step 2:  Constantly shake the pan.  Constantly flip and toss the almonds, so they all toast evenly.  Sauté till the almonds are a golden brown color and they become aromatic.
     Step 3:  Immediately spread the hot almonds on a plate to cool.
     Lightly season with sea salt and white pepper.
     Keep the almonds warm on a stove top.

     Trout Preparation:
     Remove the head from 1 gutted Rainbow Trout that is about 1 foot in length.
     Trim off the fins and gill flash.
     Remove all the bones, without damaging the skin or the flesh.  
     *Use a knife or kitchen shears to clip the rib bones on either side of the back bone.  
     *Use a filet knife to cut parallel strokes under the rib bones till they can be pulled free.
     *Use the tip of a filet knife to cut between the back bone and the skin, so the back bone can be pulled free.  

     Truite Sauté:
     Step 1:  Season the trout with sea salt and black pepper.
     Dredge the trout in flour.
     Step 2:  Heat a sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 2 1/2 to 3 tablespoons of clarified butter.
     Place the trout in the pan with the skin side facing up.
     Sauté till the flour turns a golden color.
     Step 3:  Flip the trout.
     Sauté till the skin is fairly crisp and lightly browned.  (Trout skin does not take much time to become crisp.) 
     Step 4:  Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of lemon juice over the trout.
     Use a large spatula to slide the trout onto a serving platter.
     Keep the sautéed trout warm on a stove top. 
     Truite Amandine:
     Step 1:  Drain the grease out of the hot sauté pan.  Brush the pan clean with a dry kitchen towel.
     Add 3 ounces of unsalted butter.
     Place the pan over medium/medium high heat.
     Step 2:  Cook the butter, till the milk fats stick in the pan and till the butter turns a medium brown color.
     Step 3:  Pour the beurre meunière through a very fine mesh strainer into a sauce pot.  Place the sauce pot over medium low heat.
     Add 2 tablespoons of a mixture of these minced fresh herbs:
     - Italian parsley
     - tarragon
     - thyme leaves
     Step 4:  Immediately add 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice.
     Lightly season with sea salt and white pepper.
     Remove the sauce pot from the heat.
     Allow the butter to foam.
     Step 5:  Place the trout and serving platter on a counter top.
     Spoon the beurre meunière over the trout and on the platter around the trout.
     Sprinkle a generous amount of the sautéed toasted almonds over the trout.
     No garnish is necessary!

     This is the oldest classic style of cooking Truite Amandine that there is and it is the best!  I have cooked a few thousand orders of Truite Amandine like this at yacht clubs.  The old big money clientele prefers old fashioned cooking tradition!  

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