Easy Trout Recipe From Top Chef Leah Cohen

By Fabiana Santana

She was one of the most popular Top Chef contestants ever. Leah Cohen was one spot away from a final four spot. Doing what she does best, Leah was recently promoted to Executive Chef at Centro Vinoteca, a spot once held by Food Network Chef Anne Burrell. She may have some famous shoes to fill, but this single lady knows how to take the heat.

Cohen says running her own kitchen is the most stressful thing she has ever done so far. “I didn’t realize how much responsibility and hard work it would be. I am there every single day and even on my days off. But I love it. You don’t do a job like this you live it. And I know it is helping me grow as a chef. Men dominate the culinary world.”

I spent one and a half years in Italy. I went alone and I went for myself. For my career. I did a six-month slow foods program that focused on regional Italian cooking. Every three days a new chef and region was taught. Then after the program I got a working visa and spent one year working at a Michelin starred restaurant in Sicily. It was an amazing experience. It was something I was determined to experience. Traveling on my own, focusing on cooking.

Cohen’s first food memory was when I she was 8 years old. “I was already cooking for myself and I remember I would always make a marinara sauce. I remember cutting up onions, garlic, and the smell of crushed tomatoes.”

Here is a great dinner recipe for one from Leah Cohen that is delicious and easy to prepare:

Pan-Seared Trout over Roasted Market Vegetables

Makes 1 serving

Ingredients:Easy Trout Recipe Pan-Seared Trout over Roasted Market Vegetables

  • 1 Trout fillet
  • 4 green patty pans
  • 4 yellow patty pans
  • 4 fingerling potatoes
  • 3 orange baby carrots
  • 3 yellow baby carrots
  • 1 tsp. scapes, sliced
  • 1 tsp. shallots, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 tbsp. tarragon
  • 1 tsp. mint

Olive oil Vinaigrette:

  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 tbsp. of chopped tarragon
  • Olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

1. Prior to making this dish, coat all of the vegetables in the vinaigrette above and roast for 30 minutes.

2. Heat two medium saucepans simultaneously.

3. Make sure the fish pan is “smoking hot”; then add 1 tsp. of olive oil. Place trout in pan, skin side down. Do not move it around, let it cook for 4-5 minutes. You should see the fish turn white.

4. While the trout is cooking, prepare the other saucepan so that it is “smoking hot.” Add 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Then add your scapes, shallots, baby carrots, patty pans and half of your clove of garlic. Sauté for a few seconds then add your chicken stock and half of the butter. Add your fresh herbs at the very end to keep their freshness.

5. Plate your vegetables. Flip your fish over and by now it should be cooked through (4-5 minutes). At the end of the pan roasting add the rest of your butter and the rest of your garlic. Baste a few times, and plate your fish skin side up.

6. For extra flavor, add a little olive oil to the finished dish.

Click here for Leah Cohen’s delicious dessert recipe for Cannoli with Orange Sauce and Pistachios.

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