Cider Beans, Wild Greens & Dandelion Jelly
by Joan E. Aller
The Troutdale Dining Room In Bristol, Tennessee, is a southern Appalachian regional jewel located in an elegant 1850 Victorian house. A rive-star restaurant, it was selected as one of America's Outstanding Restaurants in both the twentieth and twenty-first centuries by the International Restaurant and Hospitality Rating Bureau. These trout cakes can be presented in a variety of ways just by adding or subtracting ingredients. This particular version is Cajun-style, and it's absolutely delicious. Serve them for dinner with the sauce that follows, or serve them for a luncheon. You can also reduce the size of the cake and use them as an appetizer without the sauce.
Serves 6 (makes 24)
• 1 pound cooked trout (about 5 fillets)
• 1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
• 2 tablespoons plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
• 2 shallots, diced
• 2 cloves garlic
• 1 cup dry seasoned bread crumbs
• 2 large eggs
• 1½ tablespoons Creole mustard
• 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
• 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tablespoons water
• Vegetable oil, for frying
PREHEAT the oven to 375° F.
TO PREPARE THE TROUT, lightly spray or grease a baking pan and lay the fillets skin side down in the pan. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and, using a fork, remove the meat from the skin. Place it in a large bowl and set aside.
TO ROAST the red pepper, turn the oven temperature to 400°F. Put the chopped pepper pieces in a baking dish with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the pieces are tender and slightly browned.
WHILE the pepper is roasting, saute the green pepper and the shallots in the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and set aside.
REMOVE the red pepper from the oven and add it to the trout, along with the green pepper and shallots, garlic, 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs, 1 egg, the mustard, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and mix well. In a small bowl, mix the remaining egg and the water. Beat lightly with a fork to blend. To another bowl, add the remaining 3/4 cup bread crumbs.
FORM the trout mixture into cakes the size of a silver dollar. Dip each trout cake into the egg wash then dredge it in the bread crumbs. Completely cover each trout cake with a light coating of bread crumbs. Place them on a plate while you prepare the next step.
PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Heat 1/4 inch of vegetable oil in a large saute pan over medium-low heat. Saute the trout cakes until golden brown, about 30 seconds on each side. Place the trout cakes in a large baking dish and bake for 10 minutes, or until hot throughout. Serve immediately.