TRUITES NORMANDES A LA CREME ET A L’ESTRAGON (sauteed trout with cream and tarragon, from Normandy, for two)
two whole, 10 to 12 ounce trout, cleaned and boned, leaving the head and tail intact
freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup flour
5 fine branches fresh tarragon (4 or 5 leaves apiece), plus 1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
4 tablespoons butter
1 or 2 tablespoons peanut oil
½ teaspoon cornstarch
¾ cup heavy cream
1. Thoroughly rinse and dry the cleaned trout, and cut off a bit of the tail and the fins (which may absorb too much butter and burn). Sprinkle them with salt and pepper and then roll them in flour, shaking off the excess flour. Place 2 springs of tarragon in the cavity of each fish.
2. In a large, heavy frying pan set over high heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter and add the peanut oil. Add the trout, in one layer if possible, and cook them until they are golden, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer the fish to a platter and keep warm.
3. In a saucepan dissolve the cornstarch in the cream, then season highly with salt and pepper. Add the remaining branch of tarragon and bring to just below the simmer, stirring constantly until smooth. Immediately remove from the heat and discard the branch of tarragon.
4. Ladle some of the sauce over the trout and sprinkle it with the minced tarragon. Serve the remaining sauce on the side.
adapted from Simone Beck, Simca’s Cuisine