I try not to cook my ocean trout fillets, I would much rather bathe them in oil.
A gentle warm bath of olive oil that has been fragranced with fennel, cumin, coriander and citrus sitting at around 50 degrees C/122 degrees F.
Having now tried this dish on a gas cooker and an induction cooktop, I have to state that I am converted! The gas cooker method was passable, but the induction cooktop blew me away with how easy it is to maintain a constant temperature of 50 degrees so that the trout gently poaches. So much so, I have included the induction settings in this recipe, as it’s a must try!
Photos are by Myriam Thiabult
Ocean Trout Confit with an Apple and Fennel Salad
4 pieces of fresh ocean trout weighing approximately 100 gms each
500 mls of olive oil
Sea salt flakes
1/2 a fennel bulb ~ thinly sliced and soaking in water with a splash of lemon juice
A celery stalk ~ thinly sliced
Heart of celery ~ thinly sliced
Small handful of parsley ~ stalks removed and retained
1 Tbs fennel seeds
1 Tbs cumin seeds
1Tsp juniper berries
1 Tbs coriander seeds
1 lemon ~ juiced and thickly zested
¼ cup of good quality homemade aioli
2 granny smith apples ~ cut into matchsticks and soaking in water with a splash of lemon juice
Prepare the salmon by removing any bones with tweezers and salting the flesh generously. Leave to sit for 30 minutes.
Rinse the salt from the fish and soak for 20 minutes in a basin of cold water.
Drain the trout and pat dry with paper towels.
Dry toast the fennel seeds, cumin seeds, juniper berries and coriander seeds in a small pan for a couple of minutes and then grind lightly in a mortar and pestle to help release there wonderful aromas and flavours.
Into a deep pan, lay in a handful of the chopped fennel ~ retaining the remaining fennel bulb for the salad.
Also add into the pan the celery stalk, parsley stalks, toasted seeds and berries and the zest of the lemon.
Pour in the oil and set your induction cooktop to heat setting 4 or if you’re using gas, have the flame on fairly low.
VERY gently heat the oil until it reaches 50C on a thermometer. The oil should be warm, but not hot. You should be able to place your finger in the oil without it burning.
Once the oil reaches 50C, set the induction on to heat setting 2 or have the gas on to the very lowest flame possible.
Carefully lay in the fillets of trout and “bathe” for 10 minutes.
The induction will maintain the heat perfectly, but if you’re using gas you will need to continually check the temperature of the oil, turning the gas flame off and on to maintain 50 degrees.
With the left over sliced fennel bulb, heart of celery and sliced apple make a salad by mixing all the ingredients together with the aioli and good couple of splashes of lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper and finish the salad with the parsley leaves roughly chopped and mixed through.
Lay the salad on to 4 plates and top with the Confit Ocean Trout.
Serves 4 as a delightful light lunch or entree.