Some recipes manage to both get dinner on the table while working smart ideas into the method that can be used for later off-the-cuff cooking. For instance, here, the asparagus is cooked mostly undisturbed, allowing the stalks to get a delicious char on each stem. Then the butter stirred into the briny caper and lemon sauce not only mellows out the acid, but acts as an emulsifier to make a creamy sauce. Trick number three: instead of a standard cornmeal crust, lemon zest is stirred in for extra flavor. Once you’ve tried it on trout, why not try it on a thin-pounded pork chop? Bonus tip: Use your fingers to stir the cornmeal and zest together to avoid clumping.
8 4-oz. skinless trout fillets
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 cup fine cornmeal
2 teaspoons lemon zest plus 2 Tbsp. lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
1 tablespoon drained capers
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Lemon wedges, for serving
Sat fat 7g
How to Make It
Season trout with ￼½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Stir together cornmeal and lemon zest on a large plate. Add trout and turn to coat, pressing to adhere.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add half of the trout and cook, turning once, until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a baking sheet and loosely tent with foil to keep warm. Repeat with 2 tablespoons oil and remaining trout; season trout with ￼¼ teaspoon salt.
Wipe out skillet and add remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add asparagus and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and slightly blistered, about 4 minutes. Add capers, lemon juice, and garlic and cook, tossing, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in butter and remaining ¼ ￼teaspoon each salt and pepper; cook until butter is melted. Serve trout and asparagus topped with parsley, with lemon wedges on the side.
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