Round 5 of LoHud Cooking Challenge #FridayFishDish


We are now up to the 5th round of the Small Bites and LoHud cooking challenge we call #FridayFishDish. Throughout Lent, when many Christians abstain from eating meat on Fridays, we’ve been playing a game in which we present a list of ingredients and YOU tell us what to make. Each Wednesday for the entirety of Lent (7 weeks), the Life & Style section of The Journal News will print reader responses along with a local chef’s take on the ingredients.

Last week, for round four, Eastchester Fish Gourmet in Scarsdale responded to our challenge with a delicious dish using trout, apple cider vinegar, quinoa and parsley (their recipe is below).

For our Lohud Cooking Challenge #fridayfishdish, Eastchester Fish Gourmet Owner Rick Ross with Rainbow Trout Almondine. Tania Savayan/The Journal News

We are coming to the end of the Lenten period now and this week, we are asking readers to prepare branzino, sometimes called European sea bass. This fish is used often in Greek cooking, which is why we think it will pair nicely with the rest of the mystery basket: tomatoes, olives and chickpeas.

Round one featured tuna, soy, black pepper and Brussels sprouts, with expert advice from Mount Kisco Seafood.

Round two used salmon, cayenne, potatoes and rosemary, along with some help from La Mer Seafood in Armonk.

Round three used halibut, balsamic vinegar, thyme and sweet potatoes. The seasoned pros at Rockland Seafood in Bardonia offered tips of the trade.

Want YOUR kitchen creation printed in newspaper next week? Tell us what you’d make with the ingredients! You can leave your suggestions in the comments section here on the blog, on the Small Bites Facebook page,  tweet @small_bites or Instagram your photo with the hashtag #fridayfishdish (we are on instagram @smallbiteslohud).

Lohud cooking challenge #fridayfishdish, Rainbow Trout Almondine from Eastchester Fish Gourmet. Tania Savayan / The Journal News

Rainbow Trout Almondine, from Eastchester Fish Gourmet


  • For the quinoa:
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup haricots verts, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup zucchini, sliced
  • 1/2 cup yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • Salt and pepper
  • For the apple cider vinaigrette:
  • 2 cups clam juice
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 1/4 cup of dry vermouth
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • The seeds from inside 1/2 stick vanilla bean
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, roughly chopped
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • For the trout:
  • 1 rainbow trout
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400. Combine quinoa and water in a medium saucepan, bring to boil and reduce to low heat until water is evaporated. Let cool.
  2. On a sheet pan, combine haricots verts, zucchini, squash and apple with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft but still have a bite, about 40 minutes. Add minced vegetables to quinoa, season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
  3. Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. Bring clam juice, apple juice, vermouth, vinegar and vanilla bean seeds to boil. Reduce by about 1/4 and let cool. In a medium saute pan over medium-high heat, saute apple and onion in olive oil until translucent. Season with salt and pepper. Combine liquid and apple and onion in a blender with olive oil and puree.
  4. Lower oven to 375. Stir water and cornstarch together in a small bowl, then brush cornstarch paste on trout. Place slivered almonds to cover the fish. Heat a medium oven-proof saute pan (you can use the same one as the apple-onion) over medium-high heat and add butter and olive oil. After butter melts, add trout. Sear for about 4 minutes. Flip fish over and place pan in the oven for about 4 minutes.
  5. To serve: Spoon quinoa onto the side of a plate and place fish on top. Drizzle vinaigrette over fish and quinoa and garnish with chopped Italian parsley.


About Author

Megan McCaffrey is a food writer for The Journal News and contributor to the Small Bites Blog. She has a degree in Digital Media from Fordham University and a fondness for good craft beer. She loves to bake, read cooking blogs and taste all the Lower Hudson Valley has to offer. Megan lives in Ridgefield, Connecticut with her husband and three kids.

1 Comment

  1. Mediterranean Branzino with Jalapeño Chickpea Purée


    6 Branzino fillets
    2 cloves Garlic
    2 dz Cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
    1/2 cup Clam juice
    1/4 cup Dry Wine
    1 dz kalamata olives (pitted and chopped)
    1 can chickpeas
    1 jalapeño (seeds out and chopped)
    1/2 small white onion
    6 little neck clams
    12 prince edward black mussels


    Either mince garlic or leave whole (pressed) – sautée garlic for 30 seconds or until a light brown (if using whole cloves, remove after 2 minutes)

    Add tomatoes and onions.

    Lay the fillets (skin down) on top of the tomatoes, onions & garlic.

    Add 1/2 cup of fresh (not bottled) clam juice.

    Sprinkle fresh chopped parsley, chopped olives and a dash of salt/pepper on top.

    Add dry wine

    Cover & cook for 5 mins at a low-med flame.

    Add clams & cover for 5minutes

    Add mussels & cover for 3 minutes

    Spread chickpea purée onto one side of a dish.
    Lay Branzino in the center and the tomato/olive mix on top.

    Chickpea Purée:

    Sautee chopped Jalapeños & Onions for 2 minutes
    Add chickpeas with juice to pan.
    Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
    With a blender, purée the chickpea mixture until nice & creamy.
    Add salt to taste.

Leave A Reply