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Lavash-wrapped trout from Lavash, the cookbook.
Lavash: The bread that launched 1,000 meals, plus salads, stews, and other recipes from Armenia by Kate Leahy, John Lee and Ara Zada.
Our cookbook of the week is Lavash: The bread that launched 1,000 meals, plus salads, stews, and other recipes from Armenia by food writer Kate Leahy, photojournalist John Lee and chef Ara Zada. Over the next two days, we’ll feature another recipe from the book and an interview with its authors.
To try another recipe from the book, check out: Lavash .
This dish takes en papillote — a method of cooking food in a parcel — to new heights, using lavash instead of the typical parchment paper or aluminum foil.
“Crispy bread on the outside, softened bread inside, steamed fish: it’s amazing,” says Ara Zada. “No Westerners know what this dish is, but everywhere in Armenia they know of it. It’s five ingredients but when you open it up, it’s essentially this steamy fish wrapped in lavash. It’s incredible.”
As with the other recipes in the “Feasting” chapter, the authors write, the main course “is at its best when served with an herb and cheese plate, a side of bread, and a salad or side (or both).” They recommend a simple salad such as a mixture of romaine or Little Gem lettuces with radishes (the recipe is in the book), as an especially perfect partner.
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 butterflied (nearly boneless) trout (about 1 lb/455 g total)
4 sheets homemade Lavash ( see recipe ) or 2 sheets purchased lavash
4 tbsp (60 g) unsalted butter, plus more for spreading on lavash
8 tarragon sprigs (or cilantro, although it has a very different flavour)
Lemon wedges, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper or lightly oil it.
In a small bowl, mix together the paprika and salt.
To prepare each trout, trim off the fins with scissors, then cut the trout crosswise in half. One half will have the head and the other half will have the tail. Rub the salt blend inside and outside of the pieces, using all of the blend.
Trim each piece of lavash into a rectangle about 12 in (35 cm) long and 10 in (25 cm) wide. For each portion, place 1 tbsp of butter and 2 sprigs of tarragon into the fish cavity, removing any tough stems if there are any. Place each trout piece parallel to the base of the short side of the lavash. Fold the left and right sides of the lavash over the trout, then roll it up as if you were making a burrito.
Place the lavash packets, seam-side down, on the prepared baking sheet and spread a little bit of butter on top. Bake until the lavash is browned and crisp, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately with lemon wedges. Lavash-wrapped trout is best the day it is made.
Serves: 2 generously, 4 as part of a larger meal
Excerpted from Lavash: The bread that launched 1,000 meals, plus salads, stews, and other recipes from Armenia by Kate Leahy, John Lee and Ara Zada (Chronicle Books). Copyright © 2019. Used with permission from the publisher.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020