We guarantee your next fish dinner will be a surefire seafood success if you follow the guidance of JBF Award winner Jessica B. Harris and Beard Award nominee Albert G. Lukas and throw some warm, nutty brown butter into the mix. In this recipe from their Sweet Home Café Cookbook, the authors elevate rainbow trout with hazelnut-infused brown butter and a savory cornbread stuffing. Don’t be intimidated by the idea of roasting a whole fish—you can ask your fishmonger to prepare the fish as whole, headless, butterflied, and boned, which means you can focus on crispy skin and plenty of flavor.
Lukas and Harris start by baking cornbread cubes until they become crisp croutons. In the meantime, they layer flavors—olive oil, onions, garlic, mustard greens, and sun-dried tomatoes—in a large skillet. They transfer this rich mixture into a bowl, fold in the croutons, and place it in the refrigerator. Next, they turn their attention to the trout, which gets opened, seasoned, and stuffed before chilling in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Once cooled, Lukas and Harris roast the trout one at a time in a skillet over high heat to form a golden crust and flaky texture. They also whip up a decadent hazelnut brown butter sauce with lemon juice and fresh sage. Lukas and Harris recommend serving the fish with a generous spoonful of hazelnut brown butter and a side of rice, which will absorb any of the excess sauce. Get the recipe.
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Phoebe Fry is the media intern at the Beard Foundation. Find her on Instagram.