Trout in the Bag (Literally!)
Trota al Cartoccio con Risotto di Asparagi a.k.a. Trout Baked in Parchment with Asparagus Risotto.
Here's an answer to the spring cooking challenge set by Julie, Cherry and Scott named "In the Bag: Cooking in the Month of May", which requires the use of the springtime ingredients trout, asparagus and spring onions. With ingredients like that, what's not to love?
Trout packet ingredients:
2 square pieces of parchment paper
6 thin slices of fresh lemon
a few sprigs of chive
4 tbsps white wine
I started by pre-heating the oven to 400F and then prepared the trout. This was dinner for two so I just made two parchment packets. I placed each trout on the top end of a square of parchment paper, salted and peppered the fish inside the cavity and all around the skin. I prepared three very thin lemon slices and set them overlapping on the fish, then sprinkled a little minced chive on top. Music to season trout by: "The Garden of Earthly Delights" by XTC on the album "Oranges and Lemons". Then I folded the lower half of the parchment paper to cover the fish and began to seal the packet by making folds all along the rim. I started at the fish's tail where the parchment was folded over itself and created a tiny triangle-shaped fold. I moved up about 1/2 inch and made another triangle fold on top of the point of the first and continued that way until I had almost sealed the entire packet. Each successive fold anchors the previous one. When there was only a small opening left in the parchment packet, I poured in 2 tbsps of white wine to help steam the fish, and completed the folding process.
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup minced green onion
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
3 cups chicken or fish stock
1 small pinch of saffron
1/2 lb asparagus, cleaned and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tbsp butter
salt to taste
Once the trout packets are sealed, heat the stock on the stove to simmering and add the saffron. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium and then add the green onion. Sautee for 1 minute (stir constantly; do not let burn!)and add the dry rice to the pan. Stir to coat each grain with oil and toast for about 2 minutes. At this point, put the trout into the oven to bake/steam for 20 minutes. Add the wine to the rice and let feverishly bubble until it's almost totally evaporated. Then add the saffron stock ladle by ladle stirring constantly and waiting until the stock has been largely absorbed before adding the next ladleful. This will take between 15-18 minutes. Once the last ladleful of stock has been added, stir until it has been absorbed, add butter and salt, mix and cover for 2 minutes. The final result should be creamy and liquidy enough not to stay in a mound when you shake the plate.
Take trout out of the oven, open one packet and check for doneness (20 minutes was perfect for my standard-sized trout). Let your guests open their trout packets and spoon in the risotto themselves.