Paupiette of Rainbow Trout with Leeks on Caviar Sauce

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This recipe is for a first course, but it is also good as a light meal for four people. I know that caviar is expensive, but it really does go rather well with the trout; if you cannot stretch to caviar, then try adding leaves of fresh thyme instead. They are obviously not quite the same, but are definitely a lot cheaper and almost as good. Use the youngest, thinnest leeks possible (pencil thickness if possible) as they have a far superior flavour and are that much more tender.

Ingredients

  • 3 X 450 g/1 lb rainbow trout
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 120 ml/4 fl oz dry white wine
  • 400 ml/14 fl oz double cream
  • 350 g/12 oz young leeks
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 300 ml/½ pint fish stock
  • 25 g/1 oz caviar
  • 25 g/1 oz cold butter

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.

Scale and fillet the trout, trim the edges and remove their skins. Remove the line of small bones that runs down the middle of each fillet using a pair of pliers.

Put four of the fillets aside in the refrigerator until needed. Cut the remaining two fillets into small pieces and blend in a food processor or blender along with the salt until smooth. Add the egg white and blend again to beat in well. Rub the mousse through a sieve into a bowl set on crushed ice. Stir in 25 ml/1 fl oz of the wine. Gradually add 120 ml/4 fl oz of the cream, mixing in well, then test the consistency of the mousse. If it is a little too firm, add a bit more cream and test again. Leave in the refrigerator until needed.

Trim the leeks and cut them into small pieces about 5 mm/¼ inch square, and wash them really well. Blanch in boiling, salted water for about 15 seconds, then refresh in iced water. Drain and dry thoroughly on a cloth, and season with a little salt and pepper.

Place the remaining four fillets of trout between two sheets of polythene or cling film and carefully flatten using a cutlet bat or the side of a heavy knife until they are about 3 mm/⅛ inch thick. Lightly season the skin side of each fillet, then spread a thin layer of mousse over the skin side of each fillet to cover completely. Sprinkle each fillet with an even layer of the leeks. Starting at the tail end, roll each fillet over as if rolling a Swiss roll, then roll each fillet in a sheet of greaseproof paper long enough to wrap round the fillet twice.

Lay the paupiettes in an ovenproof pan, pour in the fish stock and the remaining white wine, and cover with buttered paper or foil. Heat the liquid until it just starts to tremble, then transfer the pan to the oven for 10 minutes. After 5 minutes, turn the paupiettes over to allow them to cook evenly. When cooked, remove the paupiettes from the pan and keep them covered, still in their greaseproof paper, in a warm place.

Return the stock to a high heat and reduce rapidly until it is thick and syrupy.

To Serve

When the stock has reduced sufficiently, add the remaining cream, return to the boil and reduce until the sauce just starts to thicken. Meanwhile, return the paupiettes to the oven for a further minute to reheat. When hot, carefully remove their paper sleeves and slice each one into six equal pieces. At the last minute, add the caviar to the sauce and remove from the heat. Gradually add the butter in pieces, shaking the pan until all the butter has melted. Arrange the slices of trout in a semi-circle in the middle of the plates and pour the sauce around. Serve at once.