Mark's Trout in Sage Browned Butter with Baby Artichokes
This dish is all about bringing out the rustic goodness of the ingredients. It seems simple, but pay attention and you'll be surprised by the depth of flavor. This recipe is "Paleo-Friendly".
Figure on one 10"-14" trout and 3 baby artichokes per person.
For two Trout:
4 sage leaves per trout
2 Tbs butter
salt and pepper
1 small shallot
For the Artichokes
3 Baby Artichokes (p.p.)
1 T salted capers, rinsed and drained (you can substitute brined capers, but be sure to rinse them)
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 tsp olive oil
a squeeze of lemon
salt and pepper to taste.
Start your fire, and when the coals are hot, arrange them on one side of the grill. While the fire is getting ready, blanch the potatoes for 4 minutes, then drain, and add oil and salt and pepper. Toss to coat. When the grate is hot, add the potatoes, flat side down, directly over the coals (if the fire isn't too hot for you). When they start to brown, turn and move them off the main fire, and cover (vents open). Cook for 10 minutes while you prep the trout and artichokes.
Pluck off the outer petals until you get to very pale leaves. You want them to be quite tender as you eat the entire thing. As I get well into pulling the leaves off, I'll bite into a leaf every so often (they are edible raw). If it is tender at lest half way up the leaf, then I've gone far enough. Cut the tops off the baby artichokes and any brown part of the stem. Keep them in acidulated water to keep them from turning brown until you're ready to cook, then dry them briefly, and halve.
Rinse and dry the trout. Salt and pepper inside and out. Stuff a sage leaf or two, as well as a couple slices of shallot inside each trout. Melt butter in a large non-stick pan with one or two sage leaves over medium-medium-high heat. When the butter is melted, add the trout to the pan.
While the trout are cooking, heat olive oil in a pan with a lid. Saute' garlic for a moment, then add capers and saute' until the garlic is just beginning to brown. Add the artichokes, toss, add salt and pepper to taste, and cook for another minute, then toss again. Repeat for a couple more minutes, then cover, and lower heat to medium low.
When the trout are browned and the skin is crispy, turn and add the shallot and remaining sage. You may want to chop the sage in order to get it in contact with the butter more easily. The idea is to lightly brown the shallot and crisp the sage while the trout finishes cooking (perhaps another 5 minutes.
Right before the trout are done, take the lid off the artichokes, raise the heat, and arrange them so they are evenly browning, and cook off any excess liquid. Add a squeeze of lemon and plate with the trout.
Serve with a dry pinot grigio or perhaps a sauvignon blanc. You can (and we did) serve with a light red and the fish is more than a match.