One of the greatest gifts that is bestowed on people living in the Mission of San Francisco is Bi-Rite Market. The first time we walked in our jaws literally dragged on the floor from oogalin’ at all of their treats. Artisan products abound and they even carry raw milk! They are Eataly quality at often below Whole Foods prices.
That night we were really hungry and couldn’t wait the 2+ hours it would take to cook Bi-Rite’s locally sourced meats sous vide. Luckily we spotted full trouts at the Fishmonger display and were instantly inspired. We also bought some of their pre-made Romesco sauce to put on the side.
Prepping the fish is pretty easy since the fishmonger does a most of the work for you. All you have to do is cut off the head and cheeks and put them aside to make a lemony white wine finishing sauce. The head is where all of the flavor is! The custom in Lisa’s Chinese family is to give the head to the guest of honor; we usually save it for her grandma (who pulled a 400lb rickshaw around right after she gave birth!).
- Whole trout
- 1 Teaspoon cumin
- Kosher salt to taste
- 1 Teaspoon paprika
- 1 Teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 Teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1 Teaspoon coriander
- 1 Teaspoon garlic
- A dash of tumeric
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 Cup of olive oil
- 1 Lemon
- 1/2 Cup of white wine
- 1 Loving pat of butter
- Trout head and cheeks
- A touch of spices (from above)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
The trout is rubbed with spices and salt inside and out and put into a sealable bag. We pour 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil inside and then submerged the bag under water up to the seal. This vacuum seal should allow the oil to form an unctuous halo around your fish and you’ll actually be poaching it in extra virgin— a recommendation we got from Chef Eddie of The Summit.
We allow our vide to pre-heat at 52.5º C during our prep. When we put our trout in the vide it floated up, but we had no trouble finding something sturdy to hold it down. Abe likes to joke that the mallet tenderizer picture is a metaphor for something…. hmmmm.
Now, as the vide to hums happily for 25 minutes at 52.5º C with trout in its belly, we move quickly to get the sauce and side veggie, Romanesco broccoli, ready (we got the broccoli from our beloved CSA Greenhearts). We stir-fry the R-Broc with olive oil and garlic and dash in some salt and pepper. Meanwhile, in another pot, the head and cheeks boil in a mixture of white wine, lemon slices, seasoning, and butter. The greens (neons?) are set aside until it’s time to plate. After about four minutes of boiling and reducing we set aside the fish-head sauce for spooning directly on top of the trout.
We try to sear the trout after viding it but it’s too hard to do. The trout is super heavy and too tender to maneuver with any tool other than agile fingers that can work lighter than whispers. When tasting it straight out of its olive oil poach, time stopped. So, we decided to serve it without searing. Finally, we drizzle a light amount of the lemony sauce on top and put a dab of Romesco sauce on the side.
The trout is very buttery and custardy out of its olive oil spa— dipping it in the chunky almond Romeso sauce is a happy contrast. Greenheart’s gorgeous Romanesco broccoli zaps us out of our daze and fills our mouths and hearts with San Francisco summer.