Another in the Lenten Season Series
A classic New Orleans dish made famous years ago and still served today at many fine Louisiana Cajun, Creole, and French cuisine establishments. The image displayed here shows the plating up of a Trout Pontchartrain portion, at The Columns Hotel, Circa 1985. Notice I am holding the plate with a white kitchen towel, one of the basics that we learn early but is often missed in many a restaurant: serve hot food hot, and on hot plates, serve cold food cold, and on cold plates. Amazingly simple to follow, yet often missed.
This classic dish has also seen a revitalization lately among restaurants both in and outside of Louisiana, and variations include additional ingredients in the topping such as shrimp and crawfish tails. In addition, some are now adding a thicker batter to the fish with eggs and breading, such as with panko breadcrumbs for a crunchier texture.
While trout is in the name of this dish, any white fleshed fish will work in this recipe. In addition, while button mushrooms are the traditional fare, you might consider adding in or substituting any variety of wild mushrooms for variation of flavor and texture. Chanterelles, morels, porcini, or oyster mushrooms are all quite good with seafood.
This version is adapted from the classic, and is also the version served at the Columns Hotel on St. Charles Avenue in the mid-1980’s during the Chef Chris Canan and Chef Brian Coates era. It takes the basic lightly floured and sautéed trout filet and then is topped with sautéed crabmeat and usually is covered with a hollandaise or béarnaise sauce depending on the restaurant. The Columns Hotel version was topped with a lighter Beurre Blanc sauce. Click the link to see two versions of this white butter sauce recipe, one from the Columns Hotel, and the other from the Eiffel Tower Restaurant.
The original recipe given here lists a single portion as was prepared to order on the kitchen line at the Columns hotel, I have also included quantities for yielding 6 portions. If you are preparing the 6-portion yield version you may want to sauté three of the trout filets at a time to ensure the pan stays hot during the cooking process.
|1 portion||6 portions|
|1||6||Each||Trout filet, 6-ounce|
|1||1 ½||Cups||All Purpose Flour, seasoned|
|Pinch||Salt & white pepper mixture*|
|1 portion||6 portions|
|¼||1 ½||Cups||Mushrooms, sliced|
|1||3||Tbsp||Green onions, chopped|
|¼||1 ½||Cups||Crabmeat, jumbo lump|
|1||2||Pinch||Salt & white pepper mixture*|
|¼||1 ½||Cups||Beurre Blanc sauce|
|1.||Season the trout filet(s) with the salt and white pepper mixture and dredge in the seasoned flour.|
|2.||Heat a sauté pan until very hot and add the clarified butter.|
|3.||Sauté the trout filet rounded side down first, when golden brown flip in pan and place in 450° F oven until done, about 5-8 minutes.|
|4.||In another sauté pan, heat the clarified butter and sauté the mushrooms and green onions until tender.|
|5.||Add the crabmeat and toss gently with the Worcestershire sauce, season to taste with the salt and white pepper.|
|6.||Center plate the trout, top with the crabmeat mixture, and then ladle the Beurre Blanc sauce on top.|
|7.||Garnish with fresh parsley and fresh lemon wedges.|
*You may have noticed that in the ingredients for this recipe there is a salt and white pepper mixture, this is typically found on most kitchen lines, and is usually a 1:1 ratio mixture of salt to white pepper, the ratios can vary depending on the restaurant. If you want to mix up a small batch, typically 2 tablespoons of white pepper and 2 tablespoons of salt will do, seal and store the remainder for future use.