Pan-fried Sea Trout and Red Quinoa with Aubergine Fondue and Lemon Tahini Yoghurt
Portion/Yield:Serves 4 as a main meal
For this recipe you can use salmon instead of sea trout if it’s easier to come by. The oily fish and aubergine go very well together. The yoghurt is perfect with this dish as it cuts through the richness of the sea trout and complements the aubergine fondue.
I like quinoa but do not cook with it as often as I think I should. It has a great taste, it’s packed with protein and slow-releasing energy and is pretty healthy too. There are two main types of quinoa – red and creamy white/pale yellow. I use red for this recipe as the nutty taste is more intense and I quite like the colour too
This recipe is fairly complex, but perfect for impressing friends. The aubergine fondue can be made up to 3 days in advance (keep it refrigerated – see Chef’s Note) and it reheats very well. You could even make a larger quantity and freeze it. I love it and it’s great as a dip too.
Ingredients & Method
For the aubergine fondue
- 80g golden sultanas
- 250ml hot white chicken stock sunflower oil, for deep-frying
- 1 aubergine, trimmed and cut into 2cm dice
- 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon tomato purée
- sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
For the pan-fried sea trout and red quinoa
- 200g red quinoa
- 200g cooked and peeled brown shrimps
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mixed herbs (parsley, coriander, chives, tarragon and chervil)
- 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
- 4 x 125g boneless sea trout fillets, skin on, scaled and pin-boned
For the lemon tahini yoghurt
- 150g thick natural Greek-style yoghurt
- finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon tahini (sesame paste)
First prepare the aubergine fondue. Put the golden sultanas in a bowl, pour over the hot chicken stock and leave to soak overnight at room temperature.
The next day, heat some sunflower oil in an electric deep-fat fryer or in a deep frying pan to a temperature of 180°C (or until a small piece of bread browns within 12–15 seconds in the hot oil). Deep-fry the diced aubergine (in batches) in the hot oil for 8–10 minutes, turning regularly, until very dark golden brown (almost black but not burnt). Remove each batch with a slotted spoon and drain in a colander. Set aside.
Heat the rapeseed oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and sauté the onion and garlic for 7–8 minutes until golden brown. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then add the deep-fried aubergines, tomato purée and soaked sultanas with the chicken stock and cover with the lid. Reduce the heat to low, then gently stew the mixture for 18–20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once cooked, use a hand-held stick blender in the pan (or transfer the mixture to a blender) and pulse blend until combined but not too smooth (do not blend for too long otherwise it will lose its colour). Keep the fondue warm whilst preparing the rest of the dish.
While the aubergine mixture is cooking, begin the pan-fried sea trout and quinoa. Cook the quinoa in a pan of boiling salted water for about 15 minutes or until cooked, then drain. Mix the drained quinoa with the brown shrimps, spring onions and chopped herbs, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
Meanwhile, for the lemon tahini yoghurt, mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl, season to taste, then keep chilled until you are ready to serve.
To cook the sea trout, heat the rapeseed oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Season the fish with salt only, then place the sea trout fillets, skin-side down, in the pan and cook for 4 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Flip the fish over and continue cooking for a further 2 minutes on the flesh side. Drain on kitchen paper.
To serve, spoon a large dollop of the lemon tahini yoghurt onto each serving plate (dollop it at one end of the plate, just off centre). Divide the red quinoa mixture between the plates (just off centre, opposite the yoghurt), place a quenelle of aubergine fondue on the quinoa, then place the pan-fried sea trout on top of the aubergine fondue and serve.
Any leftover aubergine fondue will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. It also freezes well for up to 3 months (defrost before reheating). To reheat, transfer the aubergine fondue to a small pan and reheat gently until piping hot, stirring occasionally (or use a microwave oven, if you prefer).