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Trout Parcels with Cucumber and Lemon

Hundreds of recipes have been created for this popular and delicious fish. Many Victorian recipes used a traditional English method of baking trout which involved wrapping the fish in a double thickness of newspaper and then soaking it under running water. As soon as the paper dried out in the oven, the fish was perfectly cooked. Nowadays, most people prefer to use greaseproof paper, which also keeps the moisture in. Serve with boiled or new potatoes and a green vegetable or a crisp salad.
Preparation time : 20 minutes,
Cooking time : 15 minutes,
Oven : Preheat to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4),
Calories per serving: 310

ingredients

serves 4
4 small gutted fresh trout
1 lemon
4 sprigs parsley

for the sauce

1/2 medium cucumber
2 spring onions
Rind and juice of 1 lemon
1 oz (25 g) unsalted butter
1 tablespoon plain flour
4 tablespoons half cream
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

method

1. Wash the trout thoroughly and remove any black skin inside the fish by rubbing it with a little salt. Dry the fish with kitchen paper.

2. Cut the lemon into slices and place a few slices and a parsley sprig in each belly cavity. Wrap the fish, individually, in a double thickness of newspaper or greaseproof paper. Wet the parcels under cold running water and place on a baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, peel and dice the cucumber. Trim the spring onions and slice the bulb and bottom 3in (80mm) of the green stalk. Juice the lemon and finely grate the rind. Melt the butter in a saucepan and saute the cucumber for 1-2 minutes until just tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and put aside.

4. Gradually stir the flour into the saucepan, mixing well, then add the cream a little at a time, stirring continuously. Return the cucumber to the pan, along with the spring onion, lemon juice and rind, and chopped parsley.

5. Add a little water if necessary to maintain a creamy consistency, and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Continue stirring and cooking for 3 minutes, until thickened, then pour the sauce into a jug or sauceboat.

6. Unwrap the trout and arrange on a serving plate. Serve the sauce separately.

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