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Saturday 14 March 2015

Experiments with Gousto #2: Smoked Trout & Root Slaw

This second of three recipes from Gousto required no cooking whatsoever, only chopping of veg, larking about with dill and mixing a couple of things - perfect for a quick lunch, right?

Of course, being a household which is half vegetarian (and not pescatarian), only half of this dish was suitable for both of us so, while I was busily preparing the slaw and the honey mustard and dill sauce, my girlfriend cooked herself a couple of Quorn 'Turkey' burgers to accompany her share of the slaw.

The front of the card reckons only 20 minutes to prepare this, but I suspect that was timed against someone who is (a) very good with a kitchen knife and (b) generally pretty darned quick in the kitchen. Me? I took about 40 minutes... If Gousto can create a faff-free cookbook, I can damn well put the faff back in.

I'd actually started out with a good idea: the recipe calls for the carrot and beetroot to be grated, and for the apple to be cored and diced. While I'm lacking a corer, I was able to remove the core from the apple reasonably quickly using a kitchen knife. After that, I decided to get some more experience with our mandolin and Julienne the lot, rather than faff about with a grater for some ingredients and do my usual terrible job of dicing with a knife for the rest. Either one is likely to leave me with shredded fingers, and I'd already given myself a long, shallow cut on one finger cleaning the food chopper I'd used on the mushrooms in the first recipe.

That said, I somehow managed to very nearly do myself an injury or two with the mandolin, and that takes some doing!

The instructions are clear and simple, with nothing obliterated by punched holes this time. Even so, I managed to cock up, and left the olive oil out of the honey mustard and dill sauce, despite having it standing at the ready while I was preparing everything.

Getting the dill ready can hardly be called 'faff-free'; I probably spent at least twice the time any sensible person would have taken to strip the leaves from the stalks, and my chopping of said herb would probably cause great upset to any trained chef.

Nevertheless, and yet again, this recipe survived all my culinary shortcomings and turned out rather nicely. I got a double-helping of trout into the bargain and, while mine was left in fillet form, rather than artfully flaked as per the Gousto photography, its appearance was never going to affect the flavour.

This is definitely something I want to try again, not least to get the damned honey mustard sauce right - how anyone can neglect to add one of only four ingredients in a sauce is truly beyond me, and yet that's precisely what I managed to do. That said, I'm not certain that olive oil is necessarily as common in the average kitchen as Gousto clearly believe, because that ingredient was not one of those included in the package. I reckon they would do well to reconsider that, though I suspect it would bump up the price of a box...

I'm constantly surprised by how flavoursome a salad can be, and the root slaw turned out lovely - I'm not sure I've ever eaten raw beetroot that wasn't at least pickled, so it was good to find that I enjoyed it just as much in its raw form. I didn't even add any salt or pepper as seasoning though if (when?) I do try this again, I'll certainly give that a try to see what difference it makes.

My only other thought is that there was perhaps too much dill, even if I'd made the sauce correctly and it was distributed more evenly across two separate servings of trout, in the slaw and as a garnish on two proper portions of this dish... But if the only significant complaint here is "too much dill", I think we can safely say this is a winner.

Also, it's good to know how to make a good, simple honey mustard and dill sauce (and this one is certainly both good and simple!) since that can be applied to other dishes. Likewise, the slaw can be used as part of a cold plate during summer months, and would go well with a number of other sources of protein (including, I gather, Quorn).
This time, I only managed one shot before the camera's battery died...
but I think it's a good photo this time!

If you think you might fancy giving Gousto a try (and are within the UK mainland), please feel free to use my referral code GORDO45552 for an introductory discount. Yes, that also gets me a discount on my next order, but further deliveries are currently on hold while I complete this first set of recipes and consider how this system fits in with my current... erm... 'lifestyle'.

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