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Trout Battles – Meniere vs Almandine

What?! Noooo, it’s not a European title fight but a competition of two simple yet elegant French dishes. I’ve told about the famous (to me and my Daughter) New Orleans trip with my Mom in search of the perfect Trout Almandine dish from the great 4-star restaurants there. It took two columns to tell it all and I will gladly send you a copy if you’re interested but basically Sal Saia, the owner of Sal & Sam’s in Metairie, La., said that it was one of the simplest but easiest recipes to mess up. He insisted it should be the measuring stick of all really great restaurants. Soooo, we decided to try that at every one we visited. Of course 10-year-old Ashley was more interested in the different deserts but we all had a great and fun week.

I eventually learned how to make Sal’s famous dish AND I’ve written about it in an earlier column. He’s right it’s only four ingredients but so good when done correctly. In this same vein of simple fish dishes I read about a similar dish called Trout Meniere. It’s just like Almandine but uses Parsley instead of Almonds. It’s a very old provincial dish first mentioned in a French account of King Louis XIV. I think it’s called “Provincial” because Meniere means “Miller’s Wife” in French possibly because of the flour dusting. Ha! I’ll bet you thought I was gonna say it meant parsley just like Almandine means – ah, …. Oh yes, Almonds!

Anyway, to make this great dish use four thin fillets of any light but firm fleshed fish. The recipe calls for trout but I’ve used flounder, perch, and channel catfish with great results.



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