Fresh Fish then Seafood Soup with Homemade Stock
It might make me a yuppie, but I do like to shop for groceries occasionally at The Fresh Market. I don’t buy a lot of their prepackaged food items, but their seafood and meat department is pretty awesome. Publix is great, but their seafood is terrible. Sorry Publix, but you need to get your act together.
I did shop at The Fresh Market, as you can probably guess, and this time around I came home with some fresh whole rainbow trout. I could have purchased some filleted trout, but the price per ounce was just that much higher and I’d rather do the work myself then pay someone else to do it for me. Maybe that makes me not a yuppie?
I’m usually going for speed when I’m making routine dinner at home. There’s usually minimum time to get things done and it’s usually about the time that my wife takes our dog for a walk – and I have a toddler to manage while I’m cooking. I’m sure I could get more bones removed from the fillet using my method, I just need more time to get it done.
Here’s my quick method for filleting trout:
I use my big knife to remove the head and the tail. I’d use kitchen shears if I owned some, but that’s going to have to wait. Next, I take my slender knife and run it along each side of the spine. The rib bones are thin and a sharp knife will easily go right through them. Then you run the knife underneath the spine to remove it. There’s going to be a fair amount of flesh, but don’t worry it won’t go to waste. Finally, use your knife to get under the ribs and basically lift them off the flesh.
Trout is a simple fish with light texture and flavor. In a pinch, just lightly salt and sprinkle some dill weed on top and place it in a 350° oven for right around 10-12 minutes. Since I’m doing the 21 Day Fix, I’m interested in lean proteins, minimal oils and fats, and lots of veggies. I had this trout with some green peas.
Since I’m also on a budget, I also wanted to get the maximum use from the fish. I reserved the head, tail, and spine and made some excellent fish stock out of it. Throw it all in a stock pot (or saucepan, whatever), add some salt, peppercorns, and some Italian herbs. Bring the concoction to a simmer and let the flavors steep into the water while you eat your meal. I let mine simmer for probably an hour. When I was ready to take it off the heat, I used a strainer when I poured the liquid into a pitcher. Some cooks will go through a bit more thorough of a straining process, but I just wanted to remove the bones and any nasty bits. In the end, I was left with some tasty fish stock.
The next day, I used the stock pot once more to soften some mirepoix. Cut some celery, carrots, and onion and add an inch or so of water into the pot. Bring it to a boil and keep adding water as it evaporates. This is just a quick way to soften up the mirepoix when you’re in a hurry. If you’re not sure how long it should take, don’t worry about it. After 10 minutes or so, just give a taste test to some carrots. When they’re soft, you’re ready to move on.
At this point, I added the fish stock and a vegetable bouillon cube. A little salt, pepper, garlic, and a bit more Italian seasonings will bring some flavor to the party. In the meantime, I cooked up some 21-30 count shrimp and added them to the soup. Finally, I added a 6-ounce can of tomato paste, since I was in the mood for a tomato base broth.
In the end, that trout gave me a dinner, another dinner, and some lunch. Not bad. As a bonus, it’s all healthy lean protein with a great helping of vegetables. As long as I don’t go back for multiple large servings, I’m easily within the boundaries of the 21 Day Fix nutrition plan. I’d call that a win!