Friday, August 2, 2013

In the Beginning - French White and Stuffed Trout Baked on Fennel

Here is the piece that started it all... My obsession with Vintage Corningware that forced me to hunt through every thrift store up and down the west coast and ultimately culminated in this Blog.  OK, I didn't really hunt through EVERY thrift store on the West Coast, only the San Diego Area, Palm Springs & Coachella Valley Area, Yuma, AZ and Portland's Greater Metropolitan Area including "The Couv" (which is Vancouver, Washington, for those who are not familiar with the slang term)  It's still a lot of ground to cover.... all spurred by this elegant, yet unassuming, 4 liter Casserole dish.

The F-14-B and matching domed F-14-C.
This is what I had bought at Wally World (Walmart) only to discover that it was made of Stoneware. But it's all OK now, because in 2010, I finally found the piece I "thought" I was buying back in 2007.

And what do I do with this wonderful 4 liter casserole in beautiful French White?

I bake trout...  Fresh from the river's and lakes of Mt. Hood (and/or the Snake River).  And for this particular French recipe, which seems à propos since it's a French White Casserole, Corningware's ability to go from Oven to Rangetop is showcased once again in all it's amazing amazingness.  (I know, that was a little gushy, but I can't stop myself sometimes)

Stuffed Trout Baked on Fennel & Leek

2 Fennel Bulbs, with Fronds
2 medium Carrots, Sliced into Batons
2 Leeks, white and light green parts only
Salt & Pepper
Olive Oil
2 TB Capers, rinsed and drained
1 Shallot, minced
4 Trout, ~ 10.5 oz (300g) each, gutted, scaled & beheaded (I recommend Brook or Brown Trout)
4 slices of Lemon
4 Bay Leaves
2 TB Butter, cut into 8 pieces.
3/4 cup (180ml) Fish or Seafood Stock
1/4 cup (60ml) Dry Vermouth
2 TB Heavy Cream
2 tsp dried Chervil (I use dried, cause I can't find fresh Chervil anywhere)

Corningware French White 4 liter (F-14-B) and Domed lid (F-14-C)

Preheat the oven to 400F (180C) Degrees, and remove the feathery fronds from the Fennel and set them aside.

Thinly slice the Fennel on a mandoline and place in a 4 quart Casserole (F-14-B).

Add the Leeks and Carrot batons.

Drizzle with Olive oil and season with Salt and Pepper.

Toss everything well to coat.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop the Fennel fronds finely, mince the Shallot and mince the Capers, then combine them to make the stuffing mixture.

Grab your prepared Trout (cleaned, scaled and heads removed) and divide the stuffing between the fish.

Stuff a Lemon slice and a Bay Leaf inside, on top of the filling. (If your trout are smaller, you may need to halve the Lemon slices.)

Top this off with 2 pieces of butter.

When the vegetables are done, reduce the oven temperature to 275F (140C) degrees and remove the vegetables from the oven giving them a toss before laying down the Trout on top of the vegetables.

Combine Vermouth and Fish stock in a small pitcher.

Pour the stock/wine over the Trout.

Then drizzle with Olive Oil and season with Salt and Pepper.

Cover with either the glass lid (F-14-C) or with tin foil.

Bake for 60 to 85 minutes, just until the fish is opaque and begins to flake. (it only took 1 hour for mine)
Remove trout from the casserole dish and place on a plate, tented with foil.

Place the baking dish (F-14-B) on the stove set for medium flame.

Simmer for 2-3 minutes to allow the juices to reduce slightly.

Add the Heavy Cream and Chervil.

Bring back to a simmer for 1 minute longer to slightly thicken the sauce.

Remove the baking dish from the stove and serve by placing a Trout on each plate, and surround it with the vegetable mixture.

Ah!  French Food in French White.  Does it get much better than this?  I think not.

Where is your Corningware??


  1. Oh so yummy! I agree that the trout looks sooo good in that french white!

    Corning ware has been so underrated for so long. It is refreshing to read the ways that you find it to be so versatile. Perhaps if a blog like this had been available back in the day... Corning ware might not have sold out! Many current health food posts are telling people to use ceramic cookware.... and now its not that easy to find... nor is it as reasonably priced as Corning ware was!

  2. Are the photos of this 4 qt casserole the stoneware from Walmart or the vintage pyroceram? The style of the lid with the ribbing around the top knob looks the the new version. Thanks!


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