If you're in a family where Mum does all the cooking, Mother's Day is the perfect time to turn that around. Here's a dish that's simple enough even for novice cooks, but which still brings out the wow factor. Simple but impressive, it can be made with salmon fillets if you prefer, but a side of ocean trout is far more impressive. Serve it with a simple green salad and it's a full meal.
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tbsp olive oil to finish
3 leeks, cut into 2cm slices
4 small (or 2 large) fennel bulbs, cut into thick wedges
3 cloves garlic
¼ cup white wine
¼ cup chicken stock (check gluten-free if required)
salt and ground black pepper
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 side ocean trout (about 800g-1kg)
¼ cup finely chopped parsley
1. Heat oven to 200°C.
2. In a large frying pan, heat the butter and olive oil over a medium heat and fry the leek, fennel and garlic until well browned.
3. Add the white wine and stock and bring to a simmer. Cover the pan and simmer until the fennel is very tender, about 15-20 minutes.
4. Season with salt and lots of black pepper, then stir through the white wine vinegar and extra tablespoon of olive oil to make a dressing.
5. Place the trout skin side down on a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray and season with salt. Bake for 12 minutes and remove from the oven.
6. Transfer the fish, paper and all, to a serving plate. Spoon over the fennel, leek and dressing and scatter with parsley.
My biggest tip for novice cooks is to clean as you go. Wash cutting boards and pans as you use them, and keep benches free of clutter - nothing flusters a beginner faster than a kitchen that looks like a bomb's hit it.