Jan 12, 2010

Father Knows Best

A while back I checked out Brennan's New Orleans Cookbook from my local library.  I didn't want it for the recipes (I know, shocking).  I wanted to read the first 30-40 pages, which is a wonderful account of how the famous Brennan's restaurant came to be.  I soaked into this portion of the book, barely lifting my head up for air.

I skimmed the recipes too.  And something caught my eye.  Two recipes for Trout Amandine...one of my New Orleans favorites.  But the Brennans did it all wrong!

Who am I to argue with the royal family of New Orleans Cuisine?  But my daddy knows best.

I was shocked, almost horrified to find that their trout amandine had a sauce made with lemon and Worcestershire sauce.  The lemon, I can forgive.  The Worcestershire sauce, not so much.

Allow me to explain (you know I will anyway).

Cajun men cook (those exact words are chapter titles in several Cajun cookbooks).  Now, they don't do the day-to-day cooking.  Cajun men do the majority of the outside cooking--fish fries, crawfish, shrimp, & crab boils, grilling, frying the Thanksgiving turkey, tailgating, cookin' down at da camp.  They also tend to do a lot of the "special" cooking, like for family gatherings or making a special recipe.

My mom worked her tail off when I was little cooking a meal each night--we rarely went out, rarely ordered pizza or ate fast food.  Sadly, most of that is a blur of night after night after night.  I can picture her chopping onions, celery, and bell peppers at the kitchen table.  Or standing over the sink peeling shrimp.  Or at the stove cooking with her hair up.  But there's not much more I can clearly picture about specific dishes.  Yes, I do truly suck.

However, I have very clear images of my dad standing at the stove cooking Trout Meunière.  Probably because he didn't cook in the kitchen that often and that alone was stunning.  And probably because he kept telling us he was fixin' Trout Manure.  That kind of thing sticks with you...manure does.

It's the same at my house now.  I do the day-to-day.  The husband swoops in and does the showstoppers.  And if I'm being honest, I'm a bit bitter about that.  So apparently not only do I suck, but I'm quite the hypocrite too.

But enough about my shortcomings.  In fact, forget all that.

Let's get back to Trout Meunière.  My dad made this with butter, lemon juice, hot sauce or Creole Seasoning, and Worcestershire sauce.  Trout Amandine had butter, almonds, maybe lemon, but definitely not Worcestershire.  There was always that difference growing up in my house.  That's how it was.  That's how it is.

What is Trout Meunière really?  The word Meunière means "the Miller's wife."  The trout fillets are dredged in flour before sautéing and who better to know uses for flour than the miller's wife?  After looking over many recipes for both Trout Meunière and Trout Amandine, it's clear that the two are related.  Galatoire's even lists the dish as Poisson Meunière Amandine on their menu.

But in my head the two are different. 

Because my daddy says so.

Mise en place for Trout Meunière: fish (it doesn't have to be trout), flour seasoned with salt, pepper, and Creole seasoning, butter, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, hot sauce, green onion, parsley

Start by heating half of the butter and all of the olive oil in a large skillet.  While that's going on, dredge the fillets in seasoned flour and shake off the extra.
When the butter is good and foamy, it's hot enough for the fish. 

Add the fish to the pan.  If you wanted to season the fish again, that wouldn't hurt anything, no. 

Cook until golden brown.
I didn't use trout this time because we didn't catch any.  But we did catch drum and redfish.  Made out just fine with that.

Flip and cook until the second side is golden and the fish is cooked through. 
You say, "well how long might that be, doofus?"
Depends on how thick your fish is.  Since I'm working with fish we caught, they aren't at all uniform.  Time is useless to me since they'll cook up at different rates.  I flake each piece with a fork and then serve the side I've been pokin' face down on the plate. 
No one ever knows.  Except now you do.  Secret's out I guess.
By the way, I really should have used 2 pans and not crowded the fillets so much.  But I live in an old house with no dishwasher and I aim to use the least number of dishes possible.

When the fillets are cooked, take 'em out and keep 'em warm (in a slow oven would be good).  Add the rest of the butter to the pan and melt.


Add the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and hot sauce.  Stir to mix everything really well.  Cook until heated through.  Won't take long.

When everything is combined and the sauce is good and hot, toss in the greenery--green onions and parsley.  Stir and immediately serve the sauce over the fish.  Don't let this sit around or the sauce will break...
like it's done here because I either goofed around too much trying to take a picture or had to replace batteries (again!  Stupid rechargeables). 

Trout Meunière

Trout Meunière
from Ms. enPlace

8 trout fillets (2 per person; we use speckled trout)
1/2 c flour (heaping)
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp Creole Seasoning
1 stick butter, divided
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
about 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2-3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
hot sauce to taste
2 heaping Tbsp chopped green onion
2 heaping Tbsp chopped parsley

Season the flour.  Dredge the fillets in the flour and shake to remove excess.

While you are working with seasoning the flour and dredging, heat 1/2 stick butter with olive oil in a large skillet.

Add the fillets to the pan and season again if desired.  Cook until golden brown.  Flip and cook the second side until golden brown and fish is cooked through.  Remove fillets from the pan and keep warm.

To make the sauce, add the remaining butter to the pan and melt.  Add the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and hot sauce.  Stir to combine and cook until heated through.  Stir in the green onions and parsley.  Immediately pour the sauce over the fish and serve.


  1. that looks really good! Will have to give this a try!

  2. I think it's so great when men are in the kitchen and I love that would make this for you and your family. Maybe I need to move further south to get my husband to start cooking more ;D the fish looks so good. Seems like it would be both light and decadent all at the same time. Sounds great to me!!

  3. Michelle - fantastic - and I am going to try Worcestershire sauce with fish - would never have thought of it. Cheers and thanks for linking this and the other one in to Food on Friday.


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