Go Crispy or Go Home. Crispy Skinned Trout with Crispy Mushrooms, Crispy Veg and Not So Crispy Roasted Garlic Parsnip Puree.

Pan Seared Trout Topped w/ Crispy Shiitake with Parsnip Puree and Roasted Veg

How many times can one person write the word crispy in one post title? Guess five times was enough.  Now how many times can one person write crispy within a post? Word count at the end of this post – I know you’ll be on the edge of your computer chair. Seriously, the other night I was craving crispy like something fierce!  I didn’t want fried chicken crispy or thincrust pizza crispy, but I wanted that delicate balance between baby food smooth and crunchy/crispy. Am I loosing you yet, folks?  Does anyone ever have this craving? Well, my craving was quelled by this fabulous mix of fish that was pan seared until the skin went super crispy (the trick? get all the moisture off your fish by patting it dry with paper towels and running your knife against the skin to remove any excess moisture and then putting it in a hot pan that is immediately turned to medium once the fish hits it skin side down), laid on a bed of creamy parsnip puree and sprinkled with all sorts of roasted vegetables.

One new thing that I discovered upon my crispy craving was that roasted broccoli rabe is really, really good.  I tried it and it worked.  The leaves and sides of the florets went super crispy with the stem staying perfectly crunchy.  I also roasted other things that were rolling around in my fridge including onions, a bit more leftover parsnip, cauliflower and shiitake mushrooms.

Pan Seared Trout Topped w/ Crispy Shiitake with Parsnip Puree and Roasted Veg

Ahhh, roasted mushrooms, my newest obsession.  They are sliced thinly and roasted until they almost become concentrated in flavor and crunchy.  If someone came out with a bag of roasted mushroom “chips” I’d happily snack away all day.  These are the perfect topping to any fish, pizza, chicken or bruschetta dish and I highly recommend you trying them.

I topped off this whole dish with a little “sauce” of reduced seafood stock with a squeeze of lemon and some butter mixed in.  The whole thing satisfied my crispy craving and made my cold winter night a little bit warmer.

Crispy count? 10.  How annoying was this post on a scale from 1 to 10? 10.  Deliciousness factor of this meal?  10.



  • 2 filets of trout with skin (or any other mild flavored fish)
  • 1 8oz. package of mushrooms (we used shiitake, you could use cremini, white button, etc.), sliced in 1/4 inch slices
  • a variety of vegetables including cauliflower, onions, parsnips
  • 1/2 bunch of brocolli rabe
  • 2-3 large parsnips, peeled
  • 2 cloves of garlic, roasted in the oven for 20 minutes (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • 1/2 cup milk (may need a bit more depending on size of parsnips)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 lemon
  • truffle oil (optional)

What to do:

  1. Heat your oven to 450 degrees and boil and pot of salted water for the parsnip puree. 
  2. In a bowl, toss the cauliflower in a bit of olive oil and (optional) a few drops of truffle oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Spread on a baking sheet lined with foil.  Next, toss the mushrooms with the same – olive oil, optional truffle oil and then salt and pepper. On a seperate part of the the baking sheet, add the mushrooms.  Repeat this “toss and season” thing with each vegetable you will roast, including the broccoli rabe, and add to a baking sheet, giving enough space for each vegetable to roast evenly.  Put in oven and roast at first for 15 minutes (total roasting time will vary for some veggies depending on how crunchy you want them to be).
  3. Peel your parsnips and cut into 2 inch chunks.  Add to the boiling water and allow to cook until soft – about 15 or 20 minutes.
  4. Pat your fish dry with paper towels and make sure you get the excess moisture off the skin by running your knife up and down the length of the skin. Sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides and allow to rest until ready to cook.
  5. After the first 15 minutes of roasting time is up, turn the vegetables in order to promote even browning. Your mushrooms will start to be looking more dried out than the other vegetables.  Turn each mushroom slice on to the other side – if they are to your liking, remove them to a bowl and reserve until you are ready to plate.  The broccoli rabe will need to be tossed around as well, ensuring that the delicate leaves don’t get too burnt. Put all the vegetables back in the oven and roast again – the mushrooms will only need another 5 to 8 minutes and the rest of the veggies will need another 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Remove your soft, boiled parsnips from the water and add to a blender or food processor along with the milk, roasted garlic, whole grain mustard and salt and pepper.  Add a bit of olive oil to bring it all together and taste for seasoning.  Keep warm in a pot or by keeping the lid on the food processor.
  7. Heat a pan up on high heat until it comes up to temperature.  Add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and your fish filets skin side down in the pan.  As soon as the fish hits the pan, turn your heat down to medium-high (or medium if your range has a very strong flame).  Allow to cook skin side down for 5 to 6 minutes.  Carefully flip the trout filets over and cook for a minute and then turn off the heat.  It will continue to cook in the hot pan while you assemble your plate.
  8. Remove all the veggies from the oven and plate – add the roasted broccoli rabe on the bottom then a dollop of the parsnip puree and then lay the trout filet on top. Sprinkle some of the other roasted veggies around the plate, top the trout with a few of the crispy mushrooms, squeeze some lemon and drizzle with olive oil.  Enjoy.

24 thoughts on “Go Crispy or Go Home. Crispy Skinned Trout with Crispy Mushrooms, Crispy Veg and Not So Crispy Roasted Garlic Parsnip Puree.

  1. Funny: just last night I was reading the Babbo cookbook and Batali writes that the word “crispy” sells more items than any other adjective combined.

    So, yeah, crispy — I want some of that. Thanks for the tips re the fish and the mushroom chips. I’ll be trying them out!

  2. crispy is where it’s at. i always make a beeline for the crispy bits. roasted vegetables are an every day thing around here now. your fish is gorgeous. and i’ve perfected the skin thing – learned it from the french laundry cookbook. it’s the only way to go!

  3. Crispy is as crispy does! That’s what I say – and this looks fabulous! Shitake are my mushroom of choice every single time and that creamy purée looks mouthwatering. Better than rabbit even!

  4. I may have to start using the word “crispy” to describe anything that looks this delicious (e.g. Dude, that sous vide lobster looks crispy!)… okay maybe not… This does look mighty tasty though and I reckon I I could eat a trout or two if topped with crispy mushrooms.

  5. Oh dear just when I was looking for something soggy and flabby !
    Really though it looks and sounds top notch and quite frankly a delicious plateful. I am all for crispy (x10) especially when paired with something soft and comforting like your fine sounding parsnip puree.
    oh and thanks for the crispy fish skin tip – I love a good tip.

  6. There’s something about crispy-skinned trout that is so elegant yet completely homey. I love it. Trout is really an underappreciated fish, I think, but you’ve done a wonderful job of taking her out on the town (so to speak – I know you don’t date fish).

  7. I’m sort of planning to get a dehydrator soon, and thereafter “crispy” will be in everything I write.

    And there’s a trout in the freezer which can only dream about ending up as lovely as yours.

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