Thomas Keller's Haricots Verts in Red Wine Vinegar Cream
Standard Baking Company's Baguettes

Roasted Trout with Pancetta and Sage

I've been scouring my recipe clippings for dishes that use bacon, figuring I might as well kill two birds with one stone. I want to use up some of that cured pig sitting frozen stiff in my freezer, even if it is at a snail's pace and I have begun to have misgivings about the state of my arteries. When some girlfriends came for dinner last week, I looked for a recipe that'd be light and incorporate some of my bacon.

I didn't think I'd be able to fill both requirements until I stumbled across a trout dish from the LA Times - I can't find who wrote it and when - that's easy and delicious, with an ever-so-faint whiff of bacony splendor. Despite Thomas Kellerian green beans and molten chocolate cakes for dessert, that fish was the best part of our meal, hands down. You make a topping of diced bacon, shallots and sage that gets punched up with a spritz of lemon juice and strewn over the top of a broiled piece of trout. I didn't have any capers, so I left them out.

Then I closed the freezer door, hid my recipes under my bed, and went for a walk in the park. There's only so much a girl can cook and write about before smoke starts coming out of her ears.

Roasted Trout with Pancetta and Sage

Serves 4

4-5 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
1/4 cup minced shallots
2 ounces finely diced pancetta or bacon
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon drained nonpareil capers
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
4 boned trout, about 7 ounces each
Freshly ground black pepper
Sage leaves for garnish

1. Heat oven to 500 degrees. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small saute pan and cook the shallots and pancetta until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, capers and sage and remove from the heat. Keep warm.

2. Oil a baking sheet large enough to hold all the trout in a single layer. Lay the fish skin side down on the sheet and brush the tops with oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Roast until the fish is just firm, about 5 minutes. Transfer to serving plates and spoon the bacon mixture over each fillet. Garnish with sage and serve at once.