Saturday, February 26

Tried & True

With this blog I’m hoping to try many new recipes, however there are many that I make regularly for my husband and I that should be shared.  We enjoy them a lot so they’re worth trying if you’re looking to add a new rotation to your weekly menu. 

This recipe happens to be one that we made regularly a few summers ago.  Why did we stop making it?  No joke, our freezer used to be stock piled with fresh fish.  While on vacation in Munising, Michigan we decided to go charter fishing.  It was awesome.  There were no other couples on the charter boat, meaning more catches for us.  It was just us, the captain, and of course our dog Bella.  We were lucky enough to find a charter company that would allow Bella to come on board.  Even though Bella ended up not liking the waves and throwing up on the floor of the boat (did I mention the captain was totally cool), we caught some great fish!  All in all Ryan and I caught 3 fish each.  The fish were Lake Trout and by the time we divvied up the fillets we had about 20 lbs. worth of fish!  I had never cooked fish before so needless to say that summer I was online looking up a variety of fish recipes.  Many recipes were good, but there’s only one I can say we truly loved and made time and time again…. Honey Browned Trout or Candy Trout as TeleComCal from calls it.  The name says it all.  Who doesn’t love candy?  If you don’t like candy or sweets then this blog probably isn’t for you.  I love sweets so there will definitely be a mixture of desserts intermixed with my other recipe experiments.  Perhaps you had a healthier recipe in mind for fish, but it’s still fish, so I’m sure it’s healthier than a lot of other things we could be eating for dinner.

Beyond tasting good, this recipe is great because it’s simple and not very time consuming.  That’s always a bonus especially when you get home from work and don’t have a lot of time to cook.  Also don’t let the title of the recipe limit you.  You can experiment with different kinds of fish.  We like Salmon as well so that’s how we tried it last night.    And if you want to have a side dish to serve but don’t have much time, I recommend Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice.  I really don’t like to use food that’s pre-made, but if I make the main dish from scratch I’m okay with letting myself use Ready Rice.  If you haven’t tried Ready Rice yet, Uncle Ben has a lot of different flavors (we chose Vegetable Medley for this dish) and they cook in the microwave at lightning speed (90 seconds).  If you’ve made regular rice before you know that some long grain types can take up to 30 minutes to cook.  Another time saving solution I can offer is to buy pre-minced garlic in a jar.  This is a staple ingredient at our house as we use garlic in a lot of our dishes.  The garlic is chopped very fine and is enclosed in a re-sealable container.   I like it because you can easily scoop it out with a teaspoon and your hands won’t smell like garlic.  Also, the garlic will last a long time in the fridge.  If you’re interested in buying some see the Honey picture below.  You can find it near the onions, etc in the produce section of stores.

Here are a few useful tips I would offer when making this dish:

If you’re like me, you probably have light brown sugar in your cupboard but it’s hard.  It never fails, even when I seal the bag tight without any air and put it into another zip lock bag for extra protection, it still gets hard with time.  I ran into that situation when making this dinner.  Running to the store was not an option so I decided to try microwaving the bag for about 35 seconds.  Luckily my idea worked and I was able to soften the sugar and scoop it out.  So if you’re in a pinch this is something you can try.

Have you ever bought honey from a local farmers market or a health/natural food store?  If not, then I encourage you to with this recipe.   I LOVE honey.  I even eat my McDonald’s fries by dipping them in honey.  A great benefit to consuming local honey is that it can help if you suffer from allergies.  The idea behind eating honey is kind of like gradually vaccinating the body against allergens, a process called immunotherapy. Honey contains a variety of the same pollen spores that give allergy sufferers so much trouble when flowers and grasses are in bloom. Introducing these spores into the body in small amounts by eating honey should make the body accustomed to their presence [source:].   A lady at my last company used to make her own honey and sell it at our craft bizarre at work.  I bought a small jar to try at first and then over time bought the bigger jars given how much honey we use.  You can really tell a difference in the taste.  You become sort of a honey snob and the little honey bear that you used to buy at the grocery store doesn’t taste that good anymore.  Plus with a big jar like this you can easily pour the honey into measuring cups vs. trying to squeeze it out of the honey bear.  Unfortunately I can’t buy honey from that lady anymore since I’m at a new company, but I did find this local honey at a health food store in Ann Arbor.     Ann Arbor carries a great variety at their farmers market as well.

Along the way:

Finished! :

Honey Browned Trout (Candy Trout )
Adapted from Recipe #259937 by TeleComCal,
Prep Time:  5 mins
Total Time: 35 mins

  • 2 fish fillets 
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper

1.  Heat oven to 350°F.
2.  In a food processor or blender combine honey, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil. Not the brown sugar though! I’ve made that mistake and gotten ahead of myself a few times.  Puree/process until well mixed. Will look like slightly melted whipped butter (see photo above).   If you don’t have a food processor that’s okay, I’ve never used one to make this recipe, just whip/mix everything together using a fork.
3.  Spray a shallow baking dish with non-stick cooking spray OR lightly butter (you decide). Place fillets in dish.
4.  Brush on the honey mixture, using it all.
5.  Sprinkle with brown sugar, covering the fillets (see photo above).
6.  Bake fillets until golden brown (about 30 minutes) and the sugar has caramelized.
7.  Enjoy!

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