My family is in a dinner rut.
While my husband and I have always loved to try exciting new dishes, we have six-year-old twins with a very narrow selection of foods they like. For example, they love vegetables, but only about four of them (peas, corn, carrots, and cucumbers). When it comes to protein, they are strictly into eggs, chicken or fish. They are crazy about fresh fruit. But soups or salads? Not so much. Plain pasta or rice is heaven to them. And sauces are mostly frowned upon (although one of them will eat tomato sauce on spaghetti). Most importantly, everything has to be separate on the plate.
Meanwhile, I'm a flavour-craving pescetarian (which means that I don't eat meat but I do eat fish) and my husband will eat pretty much anything (except for liver; he draws the line there). We both love world cuisine, like Indian, Latin American, Ethiopian, Italian, Korean and Middle Eastern food, but our children want the plainest of the plain.
Like many other families out there, our household is a busy one, between work, school, camp, domestic duties, social engagements, and life. Although we try to cook at home most nights, we do go the takeout route when things are particularly hectic. And because our kids are so picky, Sean and I are either stuck eating the same plain thing they're eating or making two sets of meals -- one for them, one for us -- which is a real waste of time and money.
I decided to try this recipe in the hopes that it could introduce the girls to some Indian flavours, while adding a quick and tasty new fish recipe Sean and I would also appreciate. This recipe (which I found online) originally called for salmon, but I substituted rainbow trout because although we all love salmon, trout is another great, sustainable option.
I cut back on the cayenne so the kids wouldn't be turned off by excess spiciness (the recipe originally asked for a tablespoon) and omitted the salt (who needs it?).
Without further ado, here's my recipe!
20-Minute Dinner: Yogurt-Marinated Trout
Main Ingredients Used:
• 250 ml (1cup) fat-free plain yogurt
• 2 (4 cm/1.5 inch) pieces of fresh ginger root, minced
• 6 cloves garlic, minced
• 15 ml (1 tbsp) ground coriander seed
• 5 ml (1 tsp) ground cumin
• 1 ml (1/4 tsp) ground turmeric
• 1 ml (1/4 tsp) cayenne pepper
• 4 (4 oz) or 2 (8 oz) skinless, boneless trout fillets
Preparation: Combine the yogurt, cayenne pepper, garlic, ginger, ground coriander, cumin, salt and turmeric in a bowl. Mix well. Put trout flat in a shallow dish and coat both sides well with marinade mix; cover and marinate overnight (or you can cook right away if you don't have the time!).
Preheat the oven broiler. Lightly grease a baking pan with butter.
Remove trout from marinade and shake off excess; discard remaining marinade. Place onto prepared baking pan and broil in preheated oven until trout flakes easily with a fork, 10 to 14 minutes.
Makes 4 servings
The Verdict: This recipe was extremely easy to prepare (which is a good thing, because I'm not a natural cook and have been known to make mistakes when developing recipes). The only thing I needed to do was make it a day in advance in order to let the fish marinate overnight. But because it made dinner so easy the next day, it was worth the little bit of planning. And I did make one boo-boo; I used fish with the skin on instead of skinless, but it still worked out alright! I served the trout with basmati rice and a spinach salad (and peas for the kids).
When my kids spotted the yogurt-and-spice-coated fish on the table, they were immediately suspicious. One of my daughters refused to try it at all (sigh). The other took a bite and said she wasn't sure if she liked it, but that she would try it again another time. That may sound like a fail, but it was actually somewhat encouraging! The girls filled up on rice and peas and leftover roast chicken.
Despite the fact that the kids weren't wild about my trout recipe, I'm still very pleased that I made it. Both my husband and I loved it, and we will definitely make it again. As well, it would be quite easy for me to make the yogurt-marinated trout for the two of us and make the kids plain trout at the same time (with a dash of maple syrup, their favourite option!).
I would say this recipe would be a great option for parents trying to spice up their family's fish dishes, without spending too much time in the kitchen.