Trout Simmered in Red Wine
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup minced shallots
1/2 cup minced carrot
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Several sprigs of fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups good red wine
2 whole trout, about 3/4 pound each, gutted, with or without heads
Heat the butter over medium heat in a steep-sided 10-inch skillet. When it has melted, add the shallots and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are soft. Add the flour and stir; add the thyme, bay leaf, parsley and salt and pepper to taste; stir and cook for about 1 minute, then add the wine. Raise the heat a bit until the wine starts to bubble, then reduce it so that the wine simmers.
Add the trout to the skillet and simmer, turning once, for a total of about 10 to 12 minutes; the flesh will become tender and pale when the trout is done. Remove the trout and keep it warm; reduce the sauce over high heat until it is quite thick, then spoon it over the fish. Garnish with parsley and serve.
Pan-Fried Almond Trout
1 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten
1 cup almond flour
2 trout, filleted and butterflied
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
Wedges of lemon
Spread the all-purpose flour on a flat plate and season well with salt and pepper. Put the egg in a bowl or plate next to it, and spread the almond flour on a plate next to that.
Take each trout in turn and dredge the flesh side lightly through the all-purpose flour, the egg and then the almond flour. Set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the oil and butter together over medium-high heat until the foaming from the melting butter has subsided. Place the trout flesh-side down in the hot oil (you may have to do this in batches) and fry until the bottom is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Carefully flip the trout and fry on the other side until the fish is done, about 2 more minutes.
Serve with wedges of lemon.
Roasted Trout with Lime-Dill Butter and Roasted Potatoes
2 (12-ounce) boned rainbow trout, with head and tail
1 lime, very thinly sliced
1 bunch fresh dill, divided
Salt and pepper
1 pound small red potatoes
4 tablespoons butter, divided
4 cloves garlic, sliced
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon water
Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
Line the belly cavity of each trout with lime slices and a few sprigs of dill; set the remaining dill aside. Arrange the lime and dill so they will not fall out of the cavities. Season the outside of the fish with salt and pepper, and reserve.
If the potatoes are larger than a golf ball, cut them into wedges. Place them in a medium pot with enough cold water to barely cover them. Add 1 tablespoon salt and bring to a boil. Immediately drain and allow the potatoes to air dry for a few minutes.
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with the garlic in a large ovenproof saute pan over high heat. As the garlic begins to brown, add the potatoes and toss to coat with the butter. Allow the potatoes to sear in the pan until they begin to brown on one side.
Shake the pan to arrange the potatoes in a single layer -- this will be the bed for the trout. Lay the stuffed trout on top of the potatoes and transfer to the oven. Roast until the trout is cooked through, about 12 minutes; check for doneness by gently lifting the belly flap to reveal the meat. If it is an even color all the way through, it is done.
For the lime butter, chop the remaining dill. Combine the lime juice and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, swirling the pan until it is all melted into the sauce. Season with salt and add the dill. Serve the butter on the side. Remove lime slices from fish before eating.
SUMMER TREAT RECIPES
Mojito Ice Pops
21/4 cups water
Generous 3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup fresh mint leaves plus 20 extra leaves
Scant 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 5-6 limes)
4 tablespoons white rum
10 extra thin lime slices to suspend in molds
Put water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and drop in 1 cup of mint leaves. Cover with a lid, refrigerate and steep for a few hours or overnight.
Strain the syrup through a fine strainer, squeezing any juice from the mint leaves back into the pan. Finely chop 10 of the 20 extra mint leaves and add them to the syrup with the lime juice and rum and mix well. It should taste quite sharp.
Drop a slice of lime into each ice pop mold along with a mint leaf. Ladle in the mixture, leaving1/4-inch at the top to let the mixture expand when it freezes. Insert the ice pop sticks (the lime slices will be pushed down again to the bottom by the sticks) and freeze.
Pineapple and Coconut Ice Pops
Freshly squeeze juice and finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2/3 cups granulated sugar
1 3/4 cups unsweetened coconut milk
4 tablespoons rum (optional)
Cut the crown off the pineapple and discard. Cut the pineapple in half lengthwise, cut away the peel with a sharp knife, and cut out any remaining “eyes.” Cut each half in half again, lengthwise. Cut away and discard the hard core, then cube the flesh.
Put the pineapple cubes, lemon juice and zest, sugar and coconut milk in a food processor and blend, allowing some chunks to remain. Taste and add more sugar, if needed. If you decide to add rum, stir it in now.
Pour the mixture into your ice pop molds, leaving1/4 inch at the top to let the mixture expand when it freezes. Insert the ice pop sticks and freeze.
Variation: For a sharper, very lively tasting ice pop, replace the coconut milk with 1 2/3 cups fresh orange juice or water and dip the frozen ice pop in coconut flakes, if you like.
James Snowden’s Peach Sangria
1 bottle white zinfandel
16 ounces cranberry juice
16 ounces pineapple juice
16 ounces peach schnapps
16 ounces lemon lime soda
Whole sweet cherries
1 bag frozen peaches
Stir together in big punch bowl and serve.
Summer Rose Sangria
1 (750-mililiter) bottle good rose wine
1/2 cup Pom Wonderful pomegranate juice
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (3 lemons)
1/4 cup superfine sugar
3 tablespoons Grand Marnier
1 tablespoon cognac or brandy
Water and ice, plus extra ice for serving
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
8 large fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
2 red plums, pitted and sliced1/4 inch thick
Combine the rose, pomegranate juice, lemon juice, sugar, Grand Marnier, cognac, 1 cup of water and 1 cup of ice in a large glass pitcher. Stir in the raspberries, strawberries and plums, cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours but preferably overnight.
When ready to serve, fill wine goblets or highball glasses halfway with ice. Pour the sangria over the ice, spooning some of the macerated fruit into each glass. Serve ice cold.
Peach Bourbon Smash Snow Cone
1 1/2 cups peach nectar (either store-bought or homemade from ripe peaches, peeled, liquefied and strained)
1 ounce mint simple syrup (sugar and water mixed in equal parts, with mint leaves steeped in for flavor)
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
4 ounces bourbon
Thinly sliced peach and 4 mint sprigs for garnish
In a small bowl, stir together the peach nectar, mint simple syrup, lemon juice and bourbon. Pour into a wide glass or stainless steel pan; the liquid should be about one inch deep. Transfer to the freezer and freeze for two hours.
Remove from the freezer and rake the tines of a fork across the surface to break up any ice crystals that have formed. Return to the freezer and let freeze until solid (at least 8 hours or overnight).
Before serving, remove from the freezer and rake the fork across the surface, scraping and breaking it up until it resembles fluffy shaved ice. Scoop into four paper cones or chilled coupes and garnish with a mint sprig. Serve immediately.
Fresh Whole-Milk Ricotta Cheese
2 quarts whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup fresh, strained lemon juice
Makes about 2 1/2 cups.
Line a colander with 3 to 4 layers of lightly dampened cheesecloth, and set it in, or over, a larger bowl. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of a heavy-duty 7- to 8-quart pot. Pour the milk and cream into the pot and slowly warm the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the thermometer registers 185 degrees, about 20 minutes. Watch carefully, as milk will scorch.
Remove from the heat; add the salt and stir until it dissolves. Slowly pour the lemon juice over the surface of the milk. Once all of the juice has been added, stir gently, using a slow lifting motion, for 1 to 2 minutes to encourage curds to form. When you begin to see the curds form, slowest stirring is essential. Gently transfer the curds into the colander using a strainer or perforated ladle. Do not pour the mixture.
The draining time determines the ricotta’s firmness. Fold the ends of the cheesecloth over the curds to lightly cover, and allow to drain anywhere from 30 minutes (for soft curds) to 4 hours (for a rather firm, dry cheese). Transfer the fresh ricotta to a jar, cover and refrigerate.
Ricotta Gnocchi with Parmesan, Brown Butter and Sage
FOR THE GNOCCHI:
3/4 cup flour, plus additional for dusting
1/4 cup (3 ounces) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Zest of 1 lemon, grated
1 cup (8 ounces) whole milk ricotta cheese, drained
1 large egg
FOR THE SAUCE:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 shallot, thinly sliced (about1/4 cup)
12 to 18 sage leaves
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons water
1/3 cup (about 2 1/2 ounces) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 tablespoons parsley leaves, chopped
Chopped hazelnuts, optional
Makes about 40 pieces.
Combine flour, Parmesan cheese and lemon zest in bowl. In another bowl, mix ricotta cheese, egg and salt. Add to the flour mixture and stir until the dough just comes together. Do not overwork or the dough can toughen.
Scrape the dough onto a well-floured work surface. Divide the dough into 4 sections. Using your hands, lightly roll each piece into a 12-inch rope. Cut each rope into 1/2-inch pieces. Place pieces on 2 floured paper plates and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to two hours to rest.
Heat butter over medium-high heat in a saute pan large enough to accommodate all gnocchi without crowding, but not so wide that the sauce evaporates. When butter foams, add gnocchi and cook, until light brown on all sides, about, 5-6 minutes. Use a spoon and a chopstick to flip the gnocchi.
When gnocchi are almost cooked, lower the heat to medium and add shallot and sage leaves; cook briefly, to release flavors, then add garlic, lemon juice and water. Cook briefly, allowing sauce to thicken a bit. Add Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Toss to coat the gnocchi.
Spoon gnocchi and sauce into shallow bowls, top with a sprinkling of hazelnuts and serve right away.
Rich Ricotta Pancakes
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
3 eggs, separated
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
Handful blueberries, optional
Butter or neutral oil for the griddle
Beat together the ricotta, sour cream or yogurt and egg yolks. In another bowl, combine baking soda, flour, salt and sugar. In third bowl, beat egg whites until fairly stiff.
Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium-low heat while you finish the batter.
Stir flour mixture into ricotta mixture, blending well, but not beating. Stir in lemon juice and zest, then gently fold in the beaten egg whites; they should remain somewhat distinct in the batter.
Add about 1 tablespoon butter or oil to the griddle and coat the surface. When hot, add batter by either a 1/3 cup measure or large spoon. At this point, you can sprinkle blueberries over the pancakes. Cook until bubbles appear at the pancake edges and bottoms are lightly brown, then turn and cook on the second side.
Serve right away with butter and maple syrup.
Cannoli, Mostly Homemade
2 cups whole-milk ricotta, well-drained
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Zest of a small lemon
Pinch fine salt
1/4 cup heavy cream, whipped fairly stiff
Mini-chocolate chips, about 1/3 cup, divided
Powdered sugar for dusting
6 large or 12 small cannoli shells
Makes 6 large or 12 small cannoli.
For the filling: in a medium bowl, whisk the ricotta until smooth. Sift in the confectioner’s sugar and spices; add the lemon zest and salt. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until fairly stiff. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the cream into the ricotta mixture. Stir in half the chocolate chips. Refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour.
To fill the cannoli: just before serving, use a pastry (or plastic) bag without a tip to pipe the ricotta into the cannoli shells. Fill them from both ends so the cream runs through the whole shell. Dust with a sifting of powdered sugar and dip ends into remaining chocolate chips.
Eggplant Involtini with Ricotta and Scallions
2 medium eggplants, sliced lengthwise into 1/3-inch slices
Good olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup fresh ricotta, drained
1 large egg
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 to 2 cups marinara sauce
Whole Italian parsley leaves for garnish
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Place the eggplant slices on a baking sheet. Brush them with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper Bake about 15 minutes until soft and the edges are getting brown. Turn over and bake about 10 minutes longer, watching so that they don’t get too dark. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the ricotta, egg, cheese, scallions, garlic, nutmeg, a bit of salt and a few grinds of pepper.
Lay the eggplant slices out on a work surface and place a generous tablespoon of the ricotta filling at the base of each slice. Roll the eggplant up around the filling to form a neat roll and set seam side down on the work surface.
Lightly oil a baking dish just large enough to hold the roll-ups. Pour most of the marinara sauce into the dish. Nestle the rolls, seam side down, in the sauce. Spoon the remaining sauce down the middle of the roll-ups. Sprinkle with a little more Parmesan cheese.
Bake until the ricotta cheese starts to melt out of the rolls and the sauce is bubbly, about 15 minutes. Drizzle with a little olive oil, top with parsley and serve with bread and a salad.