This may sound odd, but a good cheese sauce can be mild-flavored, and goes great with pan fried rainbow trout. You can use any fish that is suitable for pan frying – flounder, dover sole and other thin filets of mild fish should work well. I’ve had Black Drum this way, but you’ll probably have to catch that yourself.
You do need to be careful with cheese selection. A moderately mild blue cheese such as gorgonzola will work. You can also mix in other cheeses as well. Do not use strong flavors like parmesan, it will impart a very sharp taste that does not pair well with fish (at least in my opinion).
I’ve shown the fish served with some green beans and a baked sweet potato. You can also serve it with a side of pasta (linguini or fetuccini work well) tossed with the same cheese sauce. But the sweet potato provides a little taste variety.
This recipe is for two. It scales easily.
- 2 filets of rainbow trout or other mild fish
- flour for dredging
- 2 – 4 TBS oil
- 1 cup whole milk (+ more to adjust thickness if needed)
- 1 TBS butter
- 1 TBS flour
- 5 ounces blue cheese and other cheeses of your choice
- 1 tsp garlic powder (or to taste)
- pinch of salt
It is probably best to make the sauce first and set on on a small burner to keep warm while cooking the fish. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over low-medium heat, then add the tablespoon of flour, Whisk until smooth, then slowly add the milk while whisking. This should keep things smooth. Note that the roux will start to darken quite rapidly, so don’t delay too long before starting to add the milk. When the milk is warm, start adding the crumbled blue cheese and/or shredded cheese. This should be done fairly slowly, you want to pay attention to how thick the sauce is getting. Aim for a consistency of thick cream, it will thicken more as it cools (and you may have to add a bit of milk back in if you overshoot a bit. After getting the cheese incorporated, add the garlic and salt, and heat until it thickens to the consistency of thick cream.
For the fish, heat the oil in a large skillet. Use only enough to thoroughly coat the pan. Dredge the fish in flour. You should end up with a fairly light coating – this is not a batter, just an aid to browning the fish. When the oil is hot (a drop of water sizzles) place the fish carefully, skin side down in the skillet. Cook until lightly browned and flip. Cook again until lightly browned. Time will vary by the thickness of the fish. For rainbow trout it should be around 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side. Remove and drain on paper towels.
To serve, place fish on plate and drizzle the sauce over the top. Optionally you can sprinkle paprika over the top to add some color.