Crispy fish skin is spectacular. It is achieved by dusting the fish with flour before pan-frying it. This preparation method is called miller-style (‘Müllerinart’ in German). British and American people seem to associate this way of preparing fish with France because this dish is commonly referred to as trout meunière in the English-speaking hemisphere. I don’t know what is particularly French about this preparation method because it is common all over Western Europe. If you add some fried almonds to the fish, then trout meunière becomes trout almondine.
In Northern Germany, they often fry a piece of plaice filet in butter. In France, they go crazy for sole meunière. And in Southern Germany, we use river fish to prepare this dish. The best ones to use are either trout or arctic char. The best thing about using a whole fish is that the skin goes ultra-crispy. There’s hardly any better way to enjoy a freshly caught trout.
Don’t be afraid to add plenty of butter when frying the fish and almonds. Yes, this dish is a bit fatty but it is tasty. And the fish meat is incredibly moist because the crispy skin protects it from drying out when we fry it in the pan.
I always reserve a few almonds because I like to garnish the trout with partly fried and partly fresh almond slices. When you fry the almonds, be very careful as they can burn very quickly in the hot butter. It takes a few seconds for them to go from golden brown to burnt.
Traditionally, trout almondine is served with plain potatoes. In Germany, fish is somehow associated with potatoes as a side dish. I don’t know why that is. It would be weird to eat trout almondine with spätzle or noodles if you don’t have any sauce on the side. But I often think a baguette on the side would be great to soak up the almond butter.