Tea and Toast in bed was very lovely yesterday morning. As was going for a swim with Ruby and coming home starving to bacon sandwiches. I thought Mother’s Day couldn’t get much better. Then twelve trout turned up.
Perhaps spending an afternoon gutting and fileting fish may not be everyone’s idea of a Mother’s Day treat, but I was thrilled with my beautiful fish and full of ideas for how to make best use of them.
Our trout were incredibly fresh, caught yesterday morning by Pete the Fish catcher, who truly lived up to his name. And left, while we were swimming, at the very cosy Ebrington Arms pub. The landlord kindly kept them in the fridge until we turned up, resisting the urge to add them to his menu.
I’d been wanting to try trout gravadlax as soon as I had access to freshly caught fish, so this was the first thing I tackled. Will report on this later in week when it’s ready. But while I trimmed the fish filets for beetroot gravadlax, another idea came to mind. I spent a great day a couple of years ago on a River Cottage Fish course (a fantastic 40th birthday present from my family) and we used the trimmings from sea bass filets for ceviche.
I turned to the recipe in The River Cottage Fish Book by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall and Nick Fisher for black bream/sea bass ceviche and adapted it to suit my trout. Well, to suit what I had to hand too, to be honest. It was very quick and easy to mix together, delicious to eat a few hours later. And the trimmings of the trimmings were very much enjoyed by Mog and Tiger. Nothing wasted!
Ruby was quite fascinated by the whole process too, bringing a chair over to watch. For a short while, anyway.
250g very fresh trout fillets
Juice of 3 limes
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
1/2 green chilli, sliced
1/4 teaspoon soft brown sugar
(In River Cottage Fish, paprika, cayenne and chopped coriander are added and lemons and orange substituted for some of the limes. I’ve tried this and it’s great, but this time simple lime and chilli flavours seemed right with the trout)
The fish needs to be skinned and cut across the grain into 0.5 – 1cm thick pieces. Mine were cut from filet trimmings.
Combine the lime juice with onion, chilli, sugar and salt in a non-metalic container. Add the fish and mix gently, making sure it’s completely submerged in the liquid. Put in the fridge to marinate for between an hour and 12 hours. We ate ours after 3 hours and it was perfect. The flesh becomes opaque as the juice ‘cooks’ it.
As I’d found a bottle of tequila in the back of the pantry for the gravadlax, we had a little shot with the ceviche. It went very well – and it was Mother’s day!
And Pete, if you’re reading, huge thanks for such lovely fresh fish. Chorizo and gravadlax heading your way.