Baked Trout on a Bed of Potatoes

>> Friday, October 17, 2014

Baked Trout on a Bed of Potatoes

When I was growing up, I went fishing with my dad quite a bit. We fished from the shore and from boats, and by the end of the season we were all a little tired of fresh fish.

I had forgotten how amazing fresh fish tastes.

Joe went out on a charter boat with some friends last month, and caught the second largest fish in the photo down there. Thankfully, they cleaned the fish there and he brought home lake trout and salmon fillets for us. We made this Northern Italian dish that night.

Charter boat fishing on Lake Michigan

Fresh fish on a bed of thinly-sliced broiled potatoes sounds simple, and it is. It is right in line with Italian traditions of cooking: use the very freshest, tastiest ingredients, cook them simply and season them judiciously, and let those simple flavors shine.

Along with fresh fish, we had a pound of new red potatoes from my parents' farm. This is a great time of year to pick up new potatoes, and they taste the best they will all year.

Happy Fish Friday!


2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lb new red or yellow potatoes, thinly sliced (peel if you prefer)
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary (about 2 tsp chopped)
1 lb fresh lake trout or other freshwater fish

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Finely chop half of the rosemary, then combine with the chopped parsley, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.

Grease a large baking pan. Spread half of the potatoes on the bottom, and drizzle with a third of the oil. Sprinkle with part of the rosemary-garlic mixture. Add a second layer of potatoes, oil, and herb mixture.

Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake until the potatoes are nearly tender.

Baked Trout on a Bed of Potatoes

Place the fish fillets on top of the potatoes, then sprinkle with the remaining oil and herb mixture. Place the remaining rosemary sprig on top. (Note: I am a little sensitive to the strength of rosemary, so the sprig shown on top went directly to Joe's side of the plate).

Bake until the fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork, about 10-15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.


Carrot Romesco Sauce

>> Monday, October 13, 2014

Carrot Romesco Sauce

This carrot romesco sauce came straight from Bon Appetit this summer, and we used it as a sauce for a luscious roasted pork loin, as the editors suggested. We seem to have gotten all kinds of photos during the romesco-making part of the evening, and none of the pork. Oh well.

In fact, you don't even need to use this as a sweet-salty and unusual sauce for pork. We made scads of this (that's right, scads) and used it for a veggie dip and bruschetta topping, too.

If you're new to romesco sauce, Bon Appetit describes it as being to Spanish cooking what pesto is to Italian cooking. It finishes as a thick paste, and if we hadn't been busy slathering on to everything we ate that week, we would have planned ahead and tossed it with some pasta. Analogies give one all kinds of ideas, don't they?


¼ cup pine nuts or chopped pecans
1½ pounds carrots, peeled and cut lengthwise into quarters
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
Salt and black pepper to taste
½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, divided
1 tsp marjoram, minced


Preheat oven to 450°.

Toast nuts in a small skilled for a few minutes, until slightly browned and fragrant. Let cool.

carrot romesco sauce

Spread half the oil on a baking sheet, then arrange the carrots on the sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until tender and slightly browned, about 15 minutes. Let cool.

carrot romesco sauce

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender, along with 1 tbsp of water. Process until it forms a thick paste, scraping down the sides occasionally and adding more water if necessary.

While spreading this on thick slices of juicy pork loin is optional, I recommend it highly. Or spread it on toast rounds and place under the broiler until bubbly. Or toss with a green salad and more wine vinegar. Or...?

Makes about 2 cups of sauce.


Johnny Appleseed Rum Punch

>> Thursday, October 9, 2014

Growing up in Southwestern Michigan, fall was one of the busiest times of the year. There were plenty of fruit orchards around us, and U-Pick apple orchards got plenty of business. We always went down the road to Jollay Orchards in Coloma, where if you wanted, they cranked your apples into cider. I can still remember how sweet and pungent the cider mill smelled.

As soon as the temps dip below 60s, heat up this punch and pour it into a thermos for tailgating, hayrides, or bonfires. It'll keep you warm and happy all night.

You can add more or less rum to taste, or skip the rum altogether if you prefer.



1 gallon apple cider
2 cups water
1/3 cup clover honey
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 cups dark rum


Stir together all ingredients except the rum. Heat to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in rum before serving. Don't burn your mouth!

Makes about 1 1/2 gallons.

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