Monday, August 18, 2014

In the Kitchen with Deb- Guest Chef Adventures in Vegas

You might remember our friend Deb Tedesco-Roberts from her culinary school interview she did with us a while back. Well.... Deb has been busy this summer! Traveling, enjoying the Vegas nightlife, gardening and COOKING up a storm, Deb has invited us into her kitchen to see what happens when you send men off to fish for trout, and they deliver the goods.

This girl belongs on Food Network!
Going fishing is a rite of passage for many men, and while the "Manly Fishing Trip" may not be as common as it once was, occasionally you do hear of a group of guys making the escape from the city to a secluded cabin or campsite and spending some time at one with nature, baiting hooks and hoping to snag something worth bragging about. Deb's guys loaded up the equipment and headed off to Panguich Lake in Utah for some trout fishing, and judging by the pictures, they have the perfect fishing spot.

Manly men doing manly stuff at the lake

Deb's hubby Kurt seems to have won the fish lottery

Oh yaaaaaa.
While I love fishing, I was more excited to see what sort of kitchen magic Deb would be working when she got a hold of those beautiful, freshly-caught fish, and I was not disappointed. Fresh herbs, lemon, olive oil, wine, all lined up on the counter top, ready to lend their flavors, and an unbelievable amount of beautiful, flawless trout sit waiting for their ultimate destination- the dinner plate.

Trout is one of my very favorite fish. It's so delicious and easy to prepare, and if you leave it whole and don't feel guilty with him looking at you while you're eating him, make a striking presentation. Deb was working with trout but you can use whatever fish you prefer.

Look at these perfect trout! Lemon and herbs are
waiting in the background for their turn
First things first- head on or head off? That's up to you really. I personally don't like my dinner looking at me while I'm eating, so I'm a heads-off gal and so was Deb. Second thing you have to deal with is the skin. Cooking a whole fish is so much easier and gives a moister finished dish when you leave the skin on, so make sure to thoroughly remove all scales from your fish if it's a scaled fish. Not all fish are!

Extra virgin olive oil and Sauvignon Blanc-
match made in heaven with fish
Seasoning your fish is a very important step. Of course you want salt and pepper, but you can add subtle flavors to fish by stuffing the cavity with thinly sliced lemon or other citrus, and lots of fresh herbs. Thyme, dill, Italian flat leaf parsley, fennel fronds all work well with fish.

Fish are stuffed with herbs and lemon
Adding a splash of a light wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil accent the fish perfectly while adding moisture.

Get all that good stuff in there!

Don't neglect the exterior of your fish either. A nice rub of olive oil and season with salt and pepper before you wrap up your foil packets will ensure a tasty fish skin, especially if you finish with a quick broil to crisp up the skin.

Wrapping up bundles of deliciousness
Wrap up the stuffed and drizzled fish in foil and seal tightly! Place on a baking sheet and pop into a preheated 350 degree oven and don't peek for 30 minutes or so (depending on the size of your fish). When ready to test, you can tell the fish is cooked when a fork inserted shows flaky meat. You can check with a thermometer as well- it should be 140 degrees.

Cooking show- right??
While your fish is cooking, get your sides in order- a mushroom rice pilaf is delicious with fresh fish, or a crispy fresh tossed green salad with a light vinaigrette- perfect!

Don't they look fantastic? 

Deb's delicious fish was served with garden-grown tomatoes
and rice drizzled with pan juices from the fish- simple and perfect
Freshly caught trout makes a beautiful dinner and is just as easy to prepare at the campsite- simply cook your foil packets over the campfire or on a grill.You can have lots of fun with this dish too- invite friends over for a stuff-your-own fish feast and get your guests in on the fun in the kitchen, open a bottle or two of wine and enjoy!

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