Thursday, May 5

Dinner as the sun sets

Two posts in one week, that might be record breaking for this blogger!

As the weather here in Upstate NY starts to warm up and the days stretch longer and longer I often find myself still working away as the suns sets, only now it's after 7 instead of after 5.  So, I'm always looking for quick fix dinners that are healthy, unfussy and don't have me at the grocery store starved looking for some arcane ingredient.  What the heck is sorrel anyway?

In the Spring and Summer this is one of my "go to" quick dinners. Oh, and if you are a fussy weights & measures type, this isn't for you.  I use "ish" as a unit of measure.

Grilled Trout
You will need one trout per person, the lovely local market here has fresh, boned & gutted trout that are absolutely perfect, the only thing that could be more perfect, for the more intrepid among you, is if you catch & clean them yourselves

You will also need;
1 large lemon or two small lemons (this is for two servings)
a handful of fresh herbs, I used dill in this round but I usually use whatever is up in my herb garden, parsley & thyme are also super delicious
olive oil
salt & pepper, I have to say here you really should use kosher salt & freshly ground pepper, I don't want to sound all food snobby but it does make a difference

Part of what makes this dinner so good is the smoke from a charcoal grill, you could (I guess) cook inside but it's so nice out why not pour a glass of wine & sit on the deck.

Wash herbs, arugula & asparagus and trim off the hard ends from the asparagus.  Set aside while you start your charcoal.

While charcoal is getting ready, soak kitchen string in water for tying your trout up. 
Salt & pepper insides & outsides of the fish and insert thin slices of lemon (about 1/4"), some lemon zest and add lots of herbs.  Sometimes here I sneak a little butter in to, why, because butter makes everything better! But it isn't necessary.

Tie up your fish, I use some method -I think- I learned from watching Martha Stewart tie up a roast.
Rub olive oil on both skin sides of the fish and put it in a pan made for using on the grill.  Once the charcoals are at that beautiful glowing but not flaming stage, put the pan on.
Toss your asparagus with a little olive oil, salt & pepper and put around the pan directly on the grate, keep turning as necessary and take off as soon as they are tender crisp.

After about 5-7 minutes flip the fish, it will take about the same time on the other side.
Plate your trout, grilled asparagus & dress your arugula in a nice mustard vinaigrette and dinner is ready to go!

Enjoy outside, with crisp, white wine or lemony wheat beer.
So that's my quick fix, go to dinner, what about you? I'd love to hear what you make when you realize it's dinner time & have nothing planned.

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