How to cook a whole fillet

Tips from the Kames Farm Kitchen.

What better for Mother’s Day than a fillet of beautiful fish? And even better if you know how to cook it! We often find customers shy away from the bigger fillet because they think it’s harder to cook when they’re used to portions. The reality is it couldn’t be easier – and here are our top tips:

  1. Keep it moist. You have to be careful not to let it dry it out when cooking a larger trout fillet. Lay the fillet skin side down on a largish sheet of buttered tinfoil, on top of lemon slices or herbs, and then cover with more herbs or lemon slices – or something similar – plus some more little pieces of butter.

  2. Let out the steam. Pull the sides of the foil up around the trout, and pour a small amount of white wine around the trout, before sealing the foil into a parcel, but leaving a small gap at the top to let any steam out. It’ll keep it moist but not over-steam it.

  3. Don’t forget to unwrap. Cook it for about 25 minutes in an 180 degrees C fan oven. When out of the oven, if not eating immediately, open the parcel so that the fish doesn’t keep baking.

Hands-on Smoking

There’s not a week that goes by that we don’t thank our lucky stars for having Ruari and Donald Murray in the neighbouring glen to smoke our fish. Ruari’s father David set up the smokehouse, so the skill runs deep in their family. They run their own amazing shop in Lochgilphead, as well as smoking our fish and the wonderful Gigha halibut.

We have worked with them for decades, and their skill (and patience!) as we get to grips with establishing new customers and the learning curve of sending mail order from the West Coast (don’t get us started!) has helped us enormously.  

The fresh trout are hand-filleted and pin-boned, and then are hand-cured with a dry salt rub, (never immersed in brine) overnight for 12 hours. Then they are rinsed, and put in the smoker, using oak from retired whisky barrels, for 8-12 hours at 30 degrees. This doesn’t cook the fish, just removes the moisture. It’s then chilled, sliced by hand, and packed.

With our hot smoke, we follow the same procedure but then gently cook the fish, adding a honey glaze.  

A customer recently asked if we added sugar to our cold-smoke; they were amazed by how naturally sweet-tasting it was. “No,” said Donald, “That’s one of the distinguishing features of the trout. It is slightly sweeter, and nearly always a little firmer than salmon, which makes for a lovely textured smoked fish at the end.”

Burns Night Smoked Trout & Tattie Scones

Mini Tattie Scones with Beet & Whisky Creme Fraiche and Kames Smoked Steelhead Trout. Very Scottish, and very delicious. These make an ideal starter to the mighty haggis, and aren’t too heavy. Rabbie would approve!

Makes about 20 canapes. Can all be made a day in advance and assembled just before eating.
Ingredients
3 medium sized potatoes
25g butter
3 tbsp double cream
4 tbsp creme fraiche
4 small beetroots, cooked and peeled
2 tsp horseradish
2 tsp whisky
Squeeze of lemon
200g Kames Smoked Steelhead Trout
Garnish of fresh dill

Method
First make the tattie scones. Peel and boil the potatoes until soft, drain and mash them with the butter. Then stir in the double cream – add more if needed, to make a heavy batter. Do not be tempted to add milk to the mash.

Heat a frying pan or griddle pan on a medium heat and fry spoonfuls of the batter in a little vegetable oil, carefully flipping after 4 minutes. They will firm up once cool so do not worry if they seem uncooked in the middle, just take them off when they are golden brown on both sides. Lay them on kitchen roll to soak up any excess oil. You should have about 20 blini-sized scones.

Whiz in a blender the creme fraiche, horseradish, whisky and lemon. Taste to suit. I rather like the sharpness of the fiery beetroot packs you can buy in the supermarket – in which case go easy on the horseradish. But if using home cooked beetroot, you might want to add more horseradish and whisky for an extra kick. A peaty whisky is nice here; I used Jura.

When the scones are cool, teaspoon a dollop of the beetroot mixture on each and cut the trout into thin strips. Roll it up and place on top, with a little fresh dill.

Scottish Steelhead Trout Gravadlax

Kicking off our Kames recipes with this one from Shelagh, who after over 40 years of marriage to a fish farmer knows how to produce an enviable party piece! This one really shows off the beautiful quality and texture of our Steelhead Trout – and is perfect at a ‘help yourself to food’ sort of gathering.

This recipe is very quick and easy to prepare but then takes its own time to marinate and produce the most delicious, succulent trout gravadlax.

Preparation time: 48 hours (can be done up to 5 days in advance).

Serves: A crowd at a party.

Ingredients
2 x 1kg fillets of fresh, Scottish Steelhead Trout
Marinating ingredients
4 tbsp granulated sugar
3 tbsp coarse sea salt
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tsp your favourite malt whisky
Lots of ground black pepper
3 tbsp fresh chopped dill
Mustard dill sauce
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 egg yolk
150ml sunflower oil
Salt & ground black pepper
2 tbsp fresh chopped dill
Method
Mix the marinating ingredients together in a bowl.
Put the two fillets skin side down on a board. Spread with the marinating mixture, making sure to cover both fillets completely, and then sandwich together, skin side out. Wrap tightly in double foil, and lay the fillets carefully in a shallow, large dish.
Place weights on top – a couple of tins will do. I find it easier to put another large dish on top of the fillets and then balance the weights on the top.  Put in the fridge for at least 48 hours, or up to 5 days, turning the fillet parcel every day. Over this time, the marinating ingredients will dissolve together and produce a salty, sweet, sticky liquid which will turn the trout fillets into gorgeous, tasty gravadlax.
To serve, unwrap the fillet parcel, and discard the marinating liquid.  If you wish, freeze for 1 hour to firm the fish, then cut slices – a little thicker than you would for smoked salmon – at an angle to the skin.
it’s now time to make the mustard and dill sauce, which complements it perfectly.  Simply whisk the mustard, sugar, vinegar and egg yolk together in a bowl.   Then incorporate the oil, whisking well. It should have the consistency of mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the dill. This sauce can be made up to 6 hours ahead, and should be kept in the fridge, with the bowl tightly covered with cling film.
Then you are ready to serve the trout gravadlax with the mustard dill sauce on the side, some crusty bread rolls or Peter’s Yard original sourdough crispbreads, and a glass of your favourite malt whisky.
It’s a fantastic recipe to make in advance.  The trout gravadlax will keep in the fridge, wrapped in clingfilm, for up to 5 days.  It also freezes extremely well, wrapping each marinated fillet separately in clingfilm, for up to 2 months.  Perfect if you are preparing in advance for Christmas or a celebration.

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