French Pan-Fried Trout

French Pan-Fried Trout

Celery is an amazing ingredient, but a tip I gleaned while eating in France is that sometimes the less celery you use, the better it tastes. In this dish, consider it almost like an herb. It adds a little bit of clean, green flavor, in a lightly crisp package to a delicate piece of fish. It makes a delightful ménage-á-trois when trio-ed up with the mellow browned garlic and rich pistachios.

P.S.: Though I make this with trout, any good lake or river fish will do. Try walleye if you happen to snag one! Just adjust cooking time to make sure fish gets done through.


Makes 2 servings

2 8-ounce boned, pan-dressed trout (heads removed; tails removed if desired)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed
1/2 cup celery rib, very thinly sliced
3 large garlic cloves, peeled and cut into thin lengthwise slices
1 tablespoon snipped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons pistachio kernels, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional

1. Rinse trout and pat dry. Spread each trout open into fillets; season both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge each trout in flour to lightly coat on both sides, shaking off excess flour. In a large skillet (at least 12 inches in diameter), heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the two trout, skin side up, and cook over medium to medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes or until fish is golden and flakes easily with a fork, turning trout once. Transfer to a warm platter; keep warm.

2. Taking care not to burn your fingers, wipe out pan with paper towels. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add celery and garlic; sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until celery is tender and garlic is golden-brown. Add parsley and cook briefly. Add pistachios and, if you like, red pepper flakes. To serve, spoon this mixture over trout.

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