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Trio Of Brown Trout With Rhubarb Compote And Watercress Quenelle

Fermanagh Cook Off recipe


  • Ingredients for the baked stuffed trout

  • 4 whole wild brown trout

  • 12 x 25g knobs of butter

  • bunch of fine herbs, such as parsley, chives and tarragon

  • white wine

  • olive oil

  • sea salt and ground black pepper

  • Ingredients for the mousseline of wild brown trout

  • 500ml fish stock

  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped

  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped

  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

  • 250 ml dry white wine

  • sea salt flakes

  • ground black pepper

  • 2 hot smoked trout fillets

  • 2 smoked salmon fillet

  • 1 teaspoon creamed horseradish

  • 150 ml double cream

  • 3 tbsp softened unsalted butter

  • 2 tsp chopped parsley

  • 1 beaten egg

  • 4 fresh sage leaves

  • Ingredients for the trout, spinach and tarragon pastry

  • 25g unsalted butter

  • 1tbsp plain flour

  • 250 ml whole milk

  • 1 chopped tarragon leaves

  • sea salt flakes

  • ground black pepper to taste

  • 500g langoustines or local prawns. (cooked and peeled)

  • knob of butter

  • 500g baby spinach leaves

  • reserved poached trout and salmon meat (from the mousseline)

  • pack of puff pastry

  • beaten egg for sealing and wash.

  • Ingredients for the watercress quenelle

  • 200g watercress

  • 1 Chinese cabbage, shredded

  • 50g pine nuts

  • 2tsp lemon juice

  • salt and pepper

  • chicken stock

  • 2tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • Ingredients for the dill sauce

  • 15g sugar

  • 200ml red wine vinegar

  • 80g dijon mustard

  • 400ml olive oil

  • salt and pepper

  • 2tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped

  • Ingredients for the rhubarb compote

  • 6 sticks of rhubarb, roughly chopped

  • 50-60g soft brown sugar

  • 1 x star anise


  • Method for the baked stuffed trout:

  • 1.

    Pre-heat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3

  • 2.

    Cut the heads and tails off the trout (you can ask your fishmonger to do this for you). Slash each side three times on an angle about half a centimetre deep. This is to allow the flavours to develop and stop the fish from curling up.

  • 3.

    Season inside and out and pack the stomach cavity with the butter and herbs. Place in a roasting tin and pour over a splash of white wine and drizzle with a touch of olive oil.

  • 4.

    Cover with foil and bake in the oven for approximately 10-15 minutes or until cooked through.

  • 5.

    Serve with a few sea salt crystals on the top.

  • Method for the mousseline of wild brown trout:

  • 1.

    Place the fish stock, carrot, celery, onion, white wine and seasoning in a saucepan. Simmer to reduce and concentrate the poaching liquor for 30mins.

  • 2.

    Add the smoked trout and salmon fillets to the liquor and poach for about five minutes.

  • 3.

    Leave to cool slightly, then carefully pick away the flesh, discarding any skin and bones. Reserve half the fish for the pastry and place the remainder in a food processor.

  • 4.

    Add the horseradish, cream, softened butter, parsley and egg to the processor and blend until smooth.

  • 5.

    Transfer the mixture into 4 x buttered moulds/kilner jars in which the mousse will be presented.

  • 6.

    Arrange the moulds/kilner jars into a small roasting tin and half fill with boiling water. Cover with foil and bake in the oven at 170C/325F/Gas 3 for 10-12 minutes, until the mousseline has set.

  • Method for the trout, spinach and tarragon pastry:

  • 1.

    First make the sauce. Soften the butter in a small saucepan. Fold in the flour and whisk in the milk a bit at a time until you have a thick white sauce.

  • 2.

    Add the tarragon and simmer for about five minutes to cook out the flour and bring out the flavour.

  • 3.

    Season to taste and set aside to cool.

  • 4.

    When cool, fold in the prawns.

  • 5.

    Meanwhile prepare the spinach. In a saucepan melt the butter, add the spinach and gently heat through for a few minutes until the spinach has wilted in the butter and its own vapour.

  • 6.

    Strain well then blot the leaves on kitchen roll. It is important that the spinach is as dry as possible.

  • 7.

    Roll out the pastry in a rectangular sheet. With the long side closest to you, cover the half furthest away from you with a layer of spinach leaves.

  • 8.

    Top with the reserved fish meat.

  • 9.

    Cover this with a layer of the tarragon sauce and prawn mixture.

  • 10.

    Top with another layer of spinach leaves.

  • 11.

    Fold over the pastry and seal with beaten egg so it looks like a giant sausage roll with the ends closed.

  • 12.

    Lightly score the top with the back of a knife.

  • 13.

    Place on a baking sheet and brush with beaten egg.

  • 14.

    Bake until golden in a pre heated oven at 170C/325F/Gas 3 for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

  • 15.

    Once cooked, cut into slices around 2-3cm thick

  • Method for the watercress quenelle:

  • 1.

    Bring a pan of salted boiling water to the boil and blanch the watercress and Chinese cabbage for 2-3 minutes, then drain.

  • 2.

    Place the watercress, cabbage and pine nuts into a food processor and add the extra virgin oil. Blitz until loosened.

  • 3.

    Add the lemon juice and seasoning and a touch of chicken stock and blitz again until textured but not pureed.

  • 4.

    Check for seasoning, transfer to a pan and heat gently.

  • Method for the dill sauce:

  • 1.

    Whisk the sugar vinegar and mustard together in a bowl, slowly whisk in the olive oil until smooth and thickened.

  • 2.

    Season to taste then add the dill.

  • Method for the rhubarb compote:

  • 1.

    Place the rhubarb, sugar and star anise into a sauce pan, and add a splash of water.

  • 2.

    Heat for 10-12 minutes on a gentle heat or until the rhubarb has cooked down to a soft puree.

  • 3.

    Remove the star anise before serving.

  • To serve:

  • 1.

    Arrange the mousseline in the kilner jar at the end of a rectangular serving plate and drizzle with the dill sauce. Top with 2 deep-fried sage leaves.

  • 2.

    Arrange the poached trout next to the mousseline, with a spoonful of rhubarb compote and a quenelle of watercress alongside.

  • 3.

    Finally arrange a slice of the trout, spinach and tarragon pastry on the plate, with a final drizzle of dill sauce over this to serve.

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