According to the Wikipedia, the Irish leprechaun’s secret hiding place for his pot of gold is usually said to be at the end of the rainbow. Although this place is impossible to reach, because the rainbow is an optical effect which depends on the location of the viewer, what is a perfectly prepared meal if not a pot of gold? Thus, to make sure I’d reach this pot of gold on this new year I decided (after the suggestion of my brother-in-law Reynaldo, who in fact furnished all the ingredients) to prepare a rainbow trout with almonds.
Rainbow trouts (Oncorhynchus mykiss) are salmonids native of the Pacific Ocean, in Asia as well as in North America. They were introduced in southern Brazil in the 70’s, in the central mountains of the state of Santa Catarina. One of the pioneers in this process was Prof. Hélio Antunes de Souza. In 1977, while college mates (we received our Biology degree together in 1978), Hélio decided to start some experiments with this species, and thus released some individuals in ponds he constructed in his father property at the margins of the Pelotas river. Such experiments demonstrated the potential of these trouts to grow in those crystalline waters, and evolved to turn Prof. Hélio into the largest commercial producer of this species in southern Brazil.
The recipe of my trout with almonds is rather simple. Take some fish filets, season with salt, sprinkle with paprika, and bake them in the oven for a few minutes (10-15 min will do). Meanwhile heat 2-3 tablespoons of butter (for 2 filets) on a skillet and add some sliced almonds (about 3/4 cup). When the butter starts to turn brown add a shot of Frangelico (an Italian hazelnut and herb-flavored liqueur). Let it simmer for a while. Remove from the fire, add 2-3 tablespoons of heavy cream and pour over the fillets. That’s it. I’m sure you have a pot of gold in your mouth as you chew through this rainbow. A wonderful way to start 2010.