Baked Trout in Red Wine
It crossed my mind that we haven't had a recipe here for a while, so here goes. This is a great one for using up any post-Christmas booze that is still lying about, and any trout still in the freezer...
1 whole cleaned trout, between 1.5 to 3 lbs weight before cleaning
Bottle of red wine - if it's not good enough to drink, it's not good enough to cook with either, but a Sicilian red works
A large onion
2 sticks of celery
Bouquet Garni - a bunch of fresh Parsley, Thyme and a couple of Bay Leaves
Salt & Pepper
Peel the vegetables and cut into thin slices. Use a potato peeler on the carrots to create thin slivers. You can also run a potato peeler down the back of the celery stalks to get rid of the stringiness, but it's not vital for this part of the recipe. Arrange the vegetables in a layer on the bottom of an oven-proof dish big enough to take the fish. Lay the fish on the vegetables, then add the wine. Make sure the fish is covered, so you will probably need to use the whole bottle. Add the herbs. A Bouquet Garni is often tied together (hence "bouquet") but in this case you can just add the herbs to the dish.
Cut a piece of tin foil at least TWICE the size of the dish, fold it double and cover the dish, making sure you seal the edges. Bake in a moderately hot oven (400F, 200C Gas Mark 6) for 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven and CAREFULLY remove the foil, there will be a lot of hot steam trapped in there. Lift the trout out, taking care to keep it in one piece. Drain the liquid into a saucepan. You can discard the herbs and vegetables, they have done their job, and are probably soggy and bright purple by now anyway. Now, you can either keep the trout warm in a VERY low oven, and serve on a bed of freshly cooked vegetables, reducing the sauce from the dish over a low heat and using this to pour over the fish OR, you can just eat the trout cold. Actually, you could do both over a couple of days, whatever. Those of you who prefer to skin their fish before eating will find the skin lifts easily from the cooked trout.
Hope you enjoy this one.