My mother refused to eat a whole fish. “I feel those eyes looking at me,” she said. So, nary a whole fish ever appeared on her plate. Apparently many are like my mother and are squeamish about an entire fish, head and all, on their diner plate. We don’t mind. I often prepare whole fish. Bob loved to grill them, but in this classy apartment building where we now live grilling on the balcony is forbidden. I have discovered roasting is just as good — and poaching. This recipe, with lettuce draped over the fish too keep it extra moist, is a winner.
2 1-lb whole trout, cleaned (or substitute one large)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch fresh mint
2 cups dry white wine
lettuce leaves (original recipe says to blanch first — I do not)
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
3/4 cup corn oil
juice from one lime
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place trout side by side in a large baking dish. Generously season with salt and pepper, then stuff each cavity with half the mint.
Add wine and enough water to the dish to reach halfway up the fish (about 2 cups). Drape lettuce over fish, covering completely. Poach fish in oven just until cooked through (about 20 minutes, but you may need a few more)
Meanwhile whisk together egg yolk and mustard in small bowl until thick. Add oil in a steady stream, whisking constantly until all the oil has been absorbed. Add lime juice and season to taste with salt. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
Using a slotted spatula carefully transfer fish to serving platter. Remove lettuce and mint, If you wish to serve minus head, tail, and bones — have at it and remove all. Too much work for me. I find it easier to tackle the whole fish when its on my plate.