Bacon-wrapped trout with balsamic onion compote in rosemary cream sauce

On our latest visit to Costco, we’d gotten a great deal on trout. When I came across this recipe, I thought this would be a perfect new way to use the trout while also getting the chance to try out the balsamic vinegar I’d brought back from Italy. Plus, it’d been a goodly while since we’d bacon-wrapped anything.

Recipe

from Epicurious.com
Serves 2

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup water
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp sugar
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves, plus 2 sprigs
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 10-12 oz trout, cleaned
4 slices bacon
olive oil

In a heavy saucepan boil vinegar, water, onions, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon chopped rosemary, stirring occasionally, 7 minutes, or until onions are slightly softened. Remove pan from heat and let stand 15 minutes. In a coarse sieve set over another saucepan drain onions, reserving cooking liquid. Transfer onion compote to a bowl and cool. Boil reserved cooking liquid with remaining rosemary until reduced to about 3 tbsp. Add broth and boil liquid until reduced to about 1/3 cup. Stir in cream and boil sauce until reduced to about 1/4 cup. Reserve sauce in pan.

Preheat oven to 450 F and lightly oil a shallow baking pan. Rinse trout under cold water and pat dry inside and out. Fill cavity of each trout with onion compote and season with salt and pepper. Wrap 4 slices bacon around middle of each trout. In a heavy skillet, heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and brown trout until bacon is completely browned, about 5 minutes, pouring off excess fat between batches. Transfer trout to oiled pan and top with 2 rosemary sprigs. Bake in middle of oven 15 to 20 minutes, or until cooked through. Pour off remaining fat from skillet and deglaze skillet with reserved sauce over moderate heat, scraping up any brown bits. Strain sauce through a fine sieve into saucepan. Season sauce with salt and pepper and keep warm.

Musings

Successive reductions of the sauce made it incredibly rich and flavourful. We both sampled it as he was making it and proclaimed we didn’t care how the rest of the dish turned out, and that we’d be happy to just drink the sauce (or bathe in it or use it as contact lens solution, as David emphatically declared). It was divinely tasty. It had a wonderfully complex set of flavours–a bit of tartness from the balsamic married with the subtle taste of onion. The trout was also lovely! The onion compote and bacon made for a sweet and salty pairing. David noted that he could see adding a splash of lemon juice over the fish to add a touch of acidity to the mix. Other than that, definitely a recipe worth re-visiting.

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