How to Roast Pistachio Crusted Trout
We are trying to eat more fish in our house, at least once or twice a week. Trout is a favorite, quick and easy to prepare and quite reasonable priced. I picked up this farm raised trout at Wegmans.
Roasting Fish Rule
My general rule of thumb for roasting fish is 400°F for 10 minutes. That can change based on the type and thickness of the fish and the accuracy of your oven but if you need a simple go-to formula, this typically works.
How do you know when the fish is done?
- Most cookbooks will tell you to use a fork to poke the thickest part of the fish and check for opaqueness and flaking. Not a bad rule of thumb but I believe you need to remove it just before it flakes or the fish will overcook and dry out.
- Remember, you most likely are not going to get that fish on the plate and to the table immediately and the fish will continue to cook as you’re setting up the plates with the sides, getting the kids to the table, opening and pouring some wine and finishing whatever else needs to be done.
- Better to remove the fish just before it flakes but starts to firm up. A good way to tell is by using the tip of a knife to take a peek at the inside of the cooked fish. With experience, you’ll see it looks like it wants to flake but resists and the meat is starting to firm up.
- You’ll also notice the flesh has gone from translucent to opaque. Once you let the fish rest while you get everything ready to serve, the fish should be done and be ready to serve.
- Saying this, I know some of you don’t like your fish under-cooked and prefer to cook until it flakes. That’s fine but I wanted to explain why sometimes you think you’ve cooked the fish perfectly and it seems dry when you eat it.
- I find this particularly true when grilling fish like tuna or swordfish. I sometimes get distracted and let the fish cook to flakiness and don’t understand why it is dry.
- Cooking fish, especially delicate fish, takes practice but once you get a feel for cooking it, the timing becomes natural.
Nuts on Hand
We usually have pistachio nuts in our pantry along with almonds, cashews and walnuts for oatmeal, salads or to add to stir-fry. If we buy a bigger bag at Costco, we use a vacuum sealer to make small batches so they stay fresher longer.
Nuts do not last that long once opened. They go rancid and don’t taste very good.
We often buy a big bag of pine nuts because we cook with them so often but these are stored in the freezer until needed. When a recipe calls for them, we grab what we need from the freezer and they don’t seem to lose any of their taste or quality.
Now I’m wondering if I should be freezing the other nuts we buy.
For this meal, we served steamed asparagus and leftover risotto as our side dishes. My wife and I typically prepare the sides from scratch but are always looking for ways to serve up something made earlier in the week that’s hanging out in the refrigerator.
Roasted Pistachio Crusted Trout Recipe
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- While the oven is heating up, place the whole but shelled pistachios in a plastic bag. Using a heavy sauce pot, rolling pin or meat flattener, smash the pistachios into tiny pieces. You’re looking for a bread crumb size. You could also use a food processor and pulse them into smaller pieces being careful not to process them into dust.
- Transfer the pistachios to a round baking tin, pie dish or plate.
- Rinse and pat dry the trout fillets with paper towels. Lightly oil the fillets on both sides, then season with salt and pepper.
- Coat the flesh of the trout fillets with the pistachio pieces and transfer to a roasting pan, skin side down. Top the trout fillets with slices of lemon.
- Place the fish into the oven and roast for 10 minutes or until the fish is done.
- When the fish is done, remove it from the oven, plate your sides and transfer the fish fillets to the plate.
- Serve and enjoy!