Mustard-Crusted Trout (or Red Snapper) with Burst Cherry Tomato Sauce

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Serves 4
Credit: The Red Cat Cookbook
Originally from August 2014 on my old blog
I don’t eat fish very often. Once every two weeks at most, I’d say. So when I do eat it, it always seems like a special occasion. That’s because fish can be pricey at times. This recipe originally called for brook trout, but because my grocery store didn’t have any, I went with red snapper, which is pretty similar, instead. Red snapper isn’t a very cheap fish, so I felt some pressure to make sure I didn’t waste our money by messing it up. Turns out, this recipe is actually very straightforward and hard to mess up, and came out even better than I had hoped for.

The crust isn’t a thick breading that ruins the integrity of the fish; it’s just enough to add some crunch, along with a kick of dijon. The busted tomatoes add freshness and brightness to the fish.

I served these with Blue Cheese Puffs, which I will be posting next.

Ingredients:

  • 4 brook trout (or red snappers) fillets, 10 ounces each, picked free of bones
  • 4 cups dried bread crumbs (preferably Japanese Panko)
  • 2/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2/3 cup whole grain mustard
  • 2 large cloves garlic, sliced
  • ½ small white onion, diced
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved (oops, hadn’t realized the recipe asked them to be halved until just now as I typed it. You don’t have to halve them; I didn’t, but I realize now that it would have been a lot more convenient to eat if they had been halved. up to you!)
  • 1 ½ pints yellow cherry tomatoes, halves (I just used more red cherry tomatoes because the yellow were more expensive)
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 ¼ cups canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons chopped thyme
  • A handful of chopped parsley
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Put the Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, and 1/3 cup of cold water in a wide, flat bowl and whisk together well. Set aside.

Mix the bread crumbs, 3 tablespoons of the thyme, 1 teaspoon of salt, and some pepper together and spread on a plate. Dredge the fillets through the mustard mixture, letting any excess liquid run off, then dredge in the breadcrumb mixture. If you have time, (highly recommended!) lay the fillets on a lightly oiled cookie sheet and let sit in the refrigerator for an hour or two to help the coating stick to the fish.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Pour ¼ cup of the canola oil into a large saucepan and set over high heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook until the onion is translucent, approximately 2 minutes. Add the red and yellow tomatoes, then pour in the wine, lower the heat, and cook until the wine is reduced and the tomatoes break down and start to reduce, 25 to 35 minutes. Add the remaining tablespoon of thyme and the parsley, stir in the butter, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for another minute, and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat ½ cup of the canola oil. Add two of the fillets and pan-fry until golden and crisp, approximately 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the fillets to a roasting pan and place in the oven to keep warm. Discard the used oil and pour in a fresh ½ cup of canola oil, and let it heat up before you fry the remaining two fillets. Serve with the warm tomato sauce.

Happy dining!!

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