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Trout Eugene

Trout Eugene is pan-sauteed speckled trout with a lemon butter sauce with crabmeat and shrimp. Not a rare dish in white-tablecloth restaurants around town. It became famous under the name trout Eugene at the Caribbean Room at the Pontchartrain Hotel. It is also one the menu at Cafe Sbisa, where it has been served regularly for a long time. This is one of the rare times when Louisiana speckled trout might be available in the store or in restaurants. I have never discovered who Eugene was, but I’ll bet he was a waiter who could jack up the size of his checks by offering to top a good piece of fish with crabmeat and shrimp. How could anyone with a healthy appetite resist?

  • Sauce:
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. French shallots, chopped
  • 12 medium (20-25 count) shrimp, peeled
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 Tbs. lemon juice, strained
  • 1/2 cup shrimp or crab stock
  • 1 stick butter
  • 8 oz. lump crabmeat
  • 6 sprigs flat-leaf Italian parsley, leaves only, chopped
  • 4 fillets of speckled trout, about 6-8 oz. each.
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 Tbs. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 stick butter

1. Make the sauce first. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and the shrimp and cook until the shrimp turn pink. Lower the heat to medium.

2. Add the wine, lemon juice, and stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce the liquid to about one-fourth the original volume, then lower the heat to as low as it will go.

3. Cut the stick of butter into pats and whisk them in to make a creamy-looking sauce. Add the crabmeat, and agitate the pan until the crabmeat is heated through. Cover the pan and turn off the heat.

4. Mix the salt and pepper into the flour. Dust the trout fillets liberally in the seasoned flour.

5. Heat the 1/2 cup of butter over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Saute the trout, two fillets at a time, until golden brown–about three minutes per side.

6. Place a trout fillet on each serving plate and top with the sauce.

Serves four.

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