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Thyme Seared Steelhead Trout with Thyme-Mushroom Quinoa

29 Jan

This is another dish that was borne of a Saturday morning trip to the West Side Market.  This steelhead trout (also known as rainbow trout or golden trout) looked absolutely gorgeous and the price was right, so we couldn’t resist it.  If you aren’t familiar with steelhead trout (I was only familiar through reading about it), it has a very similar texture to salmon.  The flavor is also vaguely reminiscent of salmon, though slightly milder, sweeter, and more delicate.  In my opinion, it’s sort of like the “best of” salmon.  Furthermore, steelhead trout is a very sustainable alternative to salmon.  I wanted a simple, healthy preparation that really allowed the flavors of the fish to shine, and this certainly was that.

Quinoa is a very delicious seed with great nutrition content.  It has a slightly nutty flavor but is mild enough to pair with fish.  Because it is high in protein, it’s very filling.  I haven’t cooked it since college, but after tonight, I know it’s going to be making a more frequent appearance at our table.

This dish was quick (it came together in less than half an hour), yummy, and healthy.  I devoured my plate in record time.  Yum.

Thyme Seared Steelhead Trout with Thyme-Mushroom Quinoa

Thyme Seared Steelhead Trout:

3 fillets (about 1 lb.) wild steelhead trout, skin on

3 tbs. thyme-scented olive oil (see below)

2-3 sprigs fresh thyme, reserved from thyme-scented olive oil (see below)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lemon, quartered

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Season steelhead trout with kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Add thyme-scented olive oil and thyme to a 10″ cast iron skillet (or non-stick pan).  Turn heat to medium-high and heat olive oil until shimmering.  Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.

Add trout, skin side up.  Cook until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.  Flip and cook another 3-4 minutes until cooked through or to desired consistency.

Serve over quinoa garnished with lemon wedges and thyme sprigs.

Thyme-Mushroom Quinoa:

1 tbs. thyme-scented olive oil (see below)

1/2 cup quinoa

1 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup mushrooms, roughly chopped

2-3 sprigs of thyme, reserved from thyme-scented olive oil (see below)

2 cups homemade chicken stock

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

In a medium sauce pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add quinoa and cook until lightly toasted, about 2-3 minutes.  Add garlic, mushrooms, and thyme and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are beginning to brown, 5-8 minutes.

Add homemade chicken stock.  Reduce heat to low and cover.  Simmer, covered, 15-20 minutes until quinoa is cooked through.  Remove thyme sprigs and separate leaves from stems (my leaves had already fallen off of the stems).  Add leaves back into quinoa.

Thyme-Scented Olive Oil:

4-5 tbs. olive oil

5-6 sprigs fresh thyme

Place olive oil and thyme in a small saucepan.  Heat over very low heat for 30-45 minutes until the flavors of the thyme have melded with the olive oil.  It’s okay if you hear some low “popping” every once in a while, but attempt to keep the temperature as low as possible.

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