55 Comments

  1. Oh back at 16, when we look back and think about, we’ve gone on an amazing journey and learnt so many things that shape us as we are now. Thanks for the muscle behind the eye tip. I always get my fishmongers to keep the heads as I will usually use it to make fish soup broth. I see you do the same as me, when I have an amazing dish in a restaurant, I also sort of anlyze it to see how I can make it myself 🙂 This looks gorgeous Amanda. xx

    • Thanks, Sofia! I totally meant to write that…about keeping the head for a stock. I always pray that my freezer doesn’t break again because the last time it did, I had a ton of frozen fish parts in there!

      • Hahaha I know what you mean, my freezer must have about 5 batches of fish heads there at this moment… meaning I need to make a recipe with fish stock soon otherwise I’ll earn a self reputation as a fish head collector!

  2. What a brilliant job to have at 16!
    Your trout looks delicious – I know what you mean by buttery, I cooked a scorpion fish in Spain last year and thought it tasted like buttery cod – the only lubrication it had received was olive oil 😉

  3. This is a fabulous post Amanda. Love your story about working at the market. When I think back now to my visits there, all I recall is the overwhelming odor. Your recipe looks delicious and I am going to pick up some trout at my fish market and make your recipe for it.

  4. Trout is my favorite fish! I love your simple recipe, and yet it is so full of flavors, I am sure this must have been delicious! And I haven’t eaten trout in ages for some mysterious reason. I loved reading about how you worked as a fish-monger. You must have learned so much.
    Here in France, we have different names for the same fish, depending on what area it was caught it, or what sea (same fish in the Atlantic and Mediterranean almost always bears a different name). I didn’t know it was a worldwide problem.

    • It was a cool, though difficult job. I hadn’t had trout in a long time before this too…and I don’t know why. It’s affordable and delicious. So funny about the fish problem. It is an international issue that the industry is trying to fix, but the governments don’t seem to care. It actually seems worse in France with the names! I just finished reading “My Life in France” by Julia Child and she even dedicates a quick paragraph to this same fish issue. So funny. I hope you’re doing well!

  5. Fantastic looking trout. I love the story of your youth, preparing fish. My dad was a pathologist and regularly taught me how to fillet fish and carve meat, skills that were a by-product of his profession. strangely happy memories. I can’t gut a squid without thinking of him. Also, when I (rarely) prepare lobster, I remember Dad chasing my sisters around the house with a lobster head.
    Happy memories indeed.

    • Aw I like those memories too. So funny that he had a pathologists precision with animals too. I’m good at the squid. So cute about the lobster head. They used to flail their tails violently whenever I’d reach into the tank to pick them up. It’s a whole fish world out there. Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

  6. lol, just took a food blogging class and the importance of loud and proud photos was noted. Now THESE are some photos 😀 Awesome, Amanda. You are an ambitious cook and I admire that very much. Wish I could eat at your table!

  7. love your writing. the scene you described, and the taste of the fish, is evocative of the markets in israel that I visited this summer. great job!

  8. Thank you Amanda, for a great post filled with memories and great pictures. I remember back in Germany, we would have fresh trouts, simmered in a broth of vegetables, served with melted butter and parsley and squeezed lemon over it, as a side dish boiled potatoes. Simmered in that broth , the fish would turn blue, that’s why it was called Blue Trout ( Blaue Forelle), I really loved that dish. But your recipe sounds great, I will make it soon. Thank you for your inspiration.

    • Thanks for your thoughtful comment. That blaue forelle sound delicious. I’ll have to try it that way too. Melted butter and white fish are a heavenly match. I’ll let you know when I do it that way. Thanks again.

  9. What a lovely post. And what a lucky girl you were to have such a job. I’ve only ever cleaned trout, because that’s what I fish for in the mountains on utah and colorado, but i nothing about cleaning seafood in general. You probably never even realized how valuable your job was at the time! Beautiful recipe.

    • Thank you, Mimi. It really was a very valuable job. It was such a great learning experience. I’d love to go back to it one day, but it’s not an easy life. Trout fishing in the mountains sounds so beautiful. The Southwest is such a magical region. Thanks again, Mimi.

  10. Interesting you posted a trout recipe. I stopped off at a rummage sale last weekend in the Asian community I was driving through and found a lovely white Japanese platter with a fish on it. When I got home and showed it to my husband he immediately said let’s cook a whole trout! Well, we haven’t done that yet and now I have a recipe to try. I’ll never have to buy another cookbook again with you posting! Like you, I better cook two, one for the teenager and one for the parents to share. 🙂 Love your story of being a teenage fishmonger Amanda! Have you had halibut cheeks? Just saw them fresh at the market yesterday and thinking about going back to pick some up.

    • What a beautiful comment. Thank you. You should definititely make two for symbolic purposes. Cool platter. I have had cheeks. They’re wonderful. I never made them though. You and I need to eat together one day.

  11. Would love to have a nosy at Seana’s platter! Besides that, even though I’ve always loved fish and seafood it’s something I prefer to order out. Have no idea why I never cook fresh fish at home. I’ve had some pretty memorable restaurant dishes, including in the Basque country. Can’t remember where that was, excepting it was on the coast. Quite a famous seafood restaurant for those parts. And the last time I had trout was in Southern Spain. Locally caught brown trout from the rivers in a National Park. Cooked simply with Jamon! Never know how to pronounce that! And it always reminds me of the Pedro Almodóvar film. Anyway, I bet your trout tasted pretty amazing. With those flavours. And that muscle! I’ve never heard of it. Then again, I am squeamish like that – no head, please. Except in Spain, as my Spanish is so bad I can’t ask for that!

    • Hilarious, Johnny. Jamon Jamon! Great movie. You should give fish a try at home. I usually bake herb crusted salmon on Mondays. It’s my fave. I need to get back to southern Spain. My heart belongs to Sevilla. I always love hearing from you!

  12. randle

    Swoon. This fish looks delicious. I’ve been wanting to try salt-baked fish, but this might be a simpler first try at cooking a whole fish. Now if I can only find one in Central Texas! You’re making me miss Boston more than ever!

    • Aww. Thanks for your comment! I also was thinking about salted fish, but I’d probably ruin it. Central Texas…cool. Yes, Boston is the place to be for fish.

  13. This is so much fun. I grew up in Michigan eating freshwater fish, and trout – despite bass aficionados – was king in my book. Later I came to associate it with luxury – trout amandine – and now it’s back with this way more Mediterranean take. I can’t tell you how jealous I am of your having had a job as a teenage fishmonger! Great photos. Ken

    • Thanks, Ken. I can see how trout can compete with bass. I still think it’s kind of a luxury, even in this style. I really liked my fish store job. It’s just easier now to ask the fish monger at the store to do all the heavy lifting. I hope I don’t lose my chops 🙂

  14. So much I love about this post, from your lovely memories, to your skills at filleting a fish, to a beautiful meal…all so thoughtful and real!

    I have never cooked a whole fish (save maybe once), but have now been craving a brook trout (grilled over alder plank, stuffed with herbs, olives and citrus)…

    Last night I roasted a chicken over ginger ale can instead. Tonight, we will eat fish (a whole fish; hopefully trout). We will pick the succulent, buttery meat from the bones and recall this beautiful post. How lucky you were to learn such meaningful skills.

    Cheers…

    • Thanks, Stacy. What a thoughtful comment. I hope you did pick up that fish. I like the idea of doing it on a plank. I was away this weekend camping with my brother. I really wanted to grill a fish. I saw so many fisherman following the striped bass up the river. Sigh.

  15. I’m loving catching up on your posts; you always inspire me with your writing, cooking & photography. It’s real and resonates. This post is touching & beautiful, as all your posts are, Amanda.

    • Thank you. I got so excited to see your branzino in salt. That was the other way I was contemplating doing these. I must try it. I really appreciate your kind words.

    • Thanks for the pointer! I used to know these things when I worked at the fish store. I need to get back on the water too. Nice job in the catch! So glad you made them like this! Thanks for your comment!

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