This weekend was a whirlwind of 27th birthday celebrations. On Friday, I had dinner with my parents at Prune, where they gave me an actual wishbone to wish upon, in addition to a very delicious and gluten-y chocolate walnut tart. Afterwards, I met some friends at a bar on the Lower East Side.
We did the classic New York City birthday run around earlier that evening when we discovered the venue we had initially chosen would be hosting a boarding school rivalry night. Since making out with a preppy 22-year-old was not on my wish list, we decided to do a last minute relocation. Jonah Hill showed up at bar number two, so I can now cross doing the sloppy swish with him off my birthday bucket list.
Saturday I went down to Phili to visit my old roomie Caitlyn and some other friends from college, who came up from Baltimore. We had an outrageously good ten person dinner at Monsu in the Italian market district. They even had gluten-free homemade cavatelli! Unfortunately, Jonah couldn’t make it.
Anyhow, this incredibly simple whole roasted trout is something I served for someone else’s 30th birthday earlier this year. These kinds of large, yet casual, dinner parties are my favorite events to cater, especially when you’re charged with making someone’s birthday that much more special. I was a little bit of a grumpy pants this year leading up to 27. But luckily I have amazing friends to put some events on the calendar and snap me out of my moping cycle, as I imagine was the case with mister 30 .
You can enjoy this fish as a simple weekend meal. Or if you’re serving a larger group, like I way, simply roast 4 or so fish in the oven at once. I like to serve them rustically on a large platter with the twine removed, but the whole fish still intact. You can always fillet it and remove the head, but I’d recommend leaving the lemon slices and herbs as a built-in garnish.
Thank you all for your birthday wishes on Friday! Eat up.
Whole Roasted Trout with Lemon and Thyme
Makes 2 servings
One 1 1/2 pound whole rainbow trout, scaled, gutted, deboned and cleaned
3 sprigs thyme
1/2 a lemon, cut into thin rounds
1/2 lemon, juiced
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
2. Season the trout cavity with salt and pepper, and arrange the thyme sprigs and lemon slices in an even layer.
3. Tie the trout crosswise with two pieces of kitchen twine, about 2-inches apart. You don’t want the twine to be too tight or the fillets will break while cooking. Rub the trout with 1 tbsp. oil, and then transfer them to an aluminum foil—lined baking sheet. Bake trout, turning once, until cooked through and golden brown on the outside, about 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining oil with the juice in a small bowl, and season with salt and pepper.
3. Remove the twine from the trout, and cut away the filets. Reserve the lemon and thyme for garnish, or leave them on one of the fillets. Transfer the filets to serving plates, and drizzle with the lemon-oil before serving. Garnish with lemon slices and thyme.