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Apricot Stuffed Trout

ingredients

serves 6
6 trout, cleaned and trimmed
fat for greasing
2 onions, finely chopped
salt and pepper
1 cup (8 fl oz) 250 ml dry white wine
1/3 cup (75 g) butter
3 tbsp (25 g) plain flour
1 cup (8 fl oz) 250 ml Basic Fish Stock
60 ml/4 tbsp dry white wine
2 egg yolks
chopped parsley to garnish

for the stuffing

3/8 cup (75 g) 3 oz dried apricots soaked overnight
1 1/4 cup (75 g) fresh white breadcrumbs
pinch of dried thyme and ground mace
pinch of grated nutmeg
1 celery stick, finely chopped
2 tbsp (1 oz) 25 g butter

method

1. Make the stuffing. Soak the apricots overnight in a small bowl with water to cover. Next day, drain the fruit, reserving the soaking liquid, and chop finely, Mix the apricots in a bowl with the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, herbs, spices and celery. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and stir it into the mixture. Moisten further with a little of the reserved soaking liquid.

2. Grease a shallow ovenproof baking dish. Set the oven at 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Fill the trout with the apricot stuffing. Spread out the onions on the base of the prepared dish, arrange the trout on top and sprinkle with plenty of salt and pepper. Pour the wine into the dish, dot the fish with 25 g/1 oz of the butter, cover and oven-poach for 25 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, melt 25 g/1 oz of the remaining butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes, without allowing the mixture to colour. Gradually add the fish stock, stirring constantly until the sauce boils and thickens. Add salt and pepper to taste. Lower the heat, add the wine and simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Bring the sauce to just below boiling point and whisk in the remaining butter, a little at a time. Remove the pan from the heat. Blend the egg yolks and lemon juice in a small bowl, add a little of the hot sauce and mix well. Add the contents of the bowl to the sauce and mix well. Cover with damp greaseproof paper and set aside.

5. Using a slotted spoon and fish slice, carefully transfer the fish to a wooden board. Strain the cooking liquid into a saucepan. Skin the trout, then arrange them on a warmed flameproof serving dish and keep hot.

6. Boil the cooking liquid until it is reduced by a quarter, then add it to the white wine sauce. Place over moderate heat and warm through, stirring the sauce until it thickens. Do not allow it to boil. Pour the hot sauce over the fish. Place under a moderate grill/broiler for 4-5 minutes to brown lightly. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve at once.

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