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Pan-Seared Trout with Serrano Ham and Chile-Garlic Oil

"This dish is almost a cliche in Navarra, but it's absolutely delicious," says Alex Raij. "The Spanish ham keeps the fish from drying out, basting it with its inimitable fat."

  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6

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  • Six 8-ounce trout fillets, with skin
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 6 thin slices of Spanish serrano or Ibérico ham
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 fresh red chile, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. Season the trout fillets with salt and pepper. Press 1 slice of ham onto the skinless side of each fillet.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until shimmering. Add 3 of the trout fillets, ham side down, and cook over moderately high heat until the ham is crisp, about 3 minutes. Turn the fillets and cook until the skin is crisp, about 1 minute. Transfer the trout fillets to a large rimmed baking sheet, ham side up. Cook the remaining fillets in 1 more tablespoon of olive oil and transfer to the baking sheet. Keep the fish warm in the oven.
  3. In the skillet, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the chile and cook for 1 minute. Add the parsley, vinegar and a pinch of salt. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  4. Transfer the trout to plates, ham side up. Spoon the chile-garlic oil over the fish and serve right away.

Suggested Pairing

Fragrant, minerally Spanish white blend.

Contributed By Photo © Marie Hennechart Published July 2012

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