I love a piece of sea trout, a delicious alternative to salmon, finer in flavour, texture and less fatty too. A good fishmonger should be able to source some for you. I rather suspect we’ve reached a turning point in the year, tomatoes, courgettes and beans will no longer be so good. The lighter summery fish dishes will be replaced with more robust offerings. There might be more of a focus on soupier or stew like offerings, dried pulses and beans make good accompaniments for white fish especially if some chorizo is used. Fish pie is always a favourite, served with peas, any leftovers can become fishcake mix. Gratins with smoked fish are delicious too, vary the vegetables, potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes and celeriac all have an affinity with smoky notes.
It’s that ‘ugly’ vegetable that brings me here, earth, nutty, slightly fruity, the celeriac is as versatile as the humble spud.
Here, caramelised and crushed. Cut into small dice, coloured in a rapeseed oil, cooked with butter and stock until tender. Best done in a wide shallow pan where most of the liquid reduces once the celeriac is yielding to the point of a knife. Crushed with a potato masher is my preference, but should you like a smoother purée blend in a processor. Extra stock may or may not be required, butter definitely will be, horseradish is a good seasoning, wholegrain mustard is lovely too. Cream will make it richer, not necessary here but excellent if serving with a pork chop. Caper, parsley and lemon dressing sits on top in a most harmonious manner, chiming perfectly with the crisp skinned fish. The cooking of the sea trout is simplicity itself, seasoned all over 30 minutes ahead of frying, patted dry, placed skin side down into a hot pan, the heat turned to low, a question of watching it until it turns from pink to opaque looking 8-10 minutes, flipped over and rested for a minute or so more with the flame off.