Fish substitutions: you can use any fish for this recipe except for really dense ones (this means NO monkfish, mahi-mahi, swordfish, or tuna). If you want the dish to taste similar to white trout, substitute fatty, delicate fish with skin, such as steelhead trout, arctic char, salmon, and bluefish.
1 Tbsp olive oil, plus more as needed
1 large fennel bulb, sliced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
2 white trout fillets with skin (6-8 oz each)
1/2 Tbsp butter
Salt and pepper
- If using fish thicker than 1/2 inch, preheat the oven to 400F.
- Set a large skillet over high heat. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil and wait for it to get hot. Add the fennel and cook until most of the slices are golden brown, stirring not more often than once a minute, and adding more oil as it gets absorbed(you'll probably need about 2 Tbsp of oil total). This will take 5-7 minutes. Don't be tempted to stir fennel too often -- really let it brown. Those caramelized pieces are the best part.
- Turn down the heat to low, season generously with salt, and add the wine. Cover immediately and steam until all the wine is absorbed and fennel is tender, 7-10 minutes.
- Taste and correct seasoning. Stir in the parsley.
- Dry the trout well on paper towels and season with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Set another large non-stick or well-seasoned cast-iron skillet over high heat. When hot add the butter and swirl to cover the skillet.
- Place trout into the skillet skin-side down and cook without disturbing until the skin is browned, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook one minute longer. To test for doneness, separate the flakes in the thick part of the fillet with a fork. If only a trace of translucenly remains in the center, trout it done. If substituting thicker fish, finish cooking in 400F oven so that the total cooking time (searing + baking) equals 8 minutes per inch of thickness.
- Divide fennel among plates, top with trout (skin side up) and serve.