Every year around the holidays, we always get together with my aunt and uncle, who live close by, and my cousin, who is down visiting her parents from New York. Each year, the food and company are amazing and we usually exchange foodie type gifts, which are always welcome!
In November, my dad had brought out some frozen brook trout he caught in Illinois and I wanted to make those for our get together. Since Toby’s not a cooked fish eater, I wanted to do another main dish that would complement the fish. After taking our trip to the Dominican Republic and seeing huge pans of paella, I thought that would be a great accompaniment.
The paella worked out great – it was a showstopper on the dinner table, but was also impressive to put it together while my family hung out in the kitchen noshing on duck tarts, cheese and crackers and enjoying some spiced cider sangria.
My original plan for the fish was to butterfly it and bake it with a mustard crust, but that ended up not working out for whole trout. So, I quickly made an adjustment and cooked the two fish whole in foil with lemon slices, slivers of garlic, olive oil, a splash of white wine and some lemony lemon thyme salt. I baked them for about 22 minutes at 375° and they were perfectly done.
One of my favorite, and easiest, vegetable sides, comes from Molly Steven’s book ‘All About Braising”. Cabbage, carrots and onions are braised for 2 hours and become soft, slightly caramelized and are so delicious. This dish is really easy to do for a dinner party as it is in the oven far in advance and then it just goes from oven to table.
We rounded out dinner with a delicious tart, filled with whipped vanilla mascarpone cheese and topped with raspberry jam, using up my last jar of raspberry jam from the jam and baking course at King Arthur Flour in Vermont. Delicious. I was so ready for dessert that I even forgot to take a photo of it!
Menu Planning: Seafood Paella, Baked Trout, Braised Cabbage and Raspberry Jam Tart
Triple Cream Brie with Cherry Tomato Jam
Raspberry Jam Tart with Whipped Vanilla Mascarpone Filling