Notes: Bake an 8-inch pan of cornbread from your favorite recipe or a purchased mix; let cool, then cut into cubes. Green shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas) are sold in natural-food stores and Latino groceries.
About 5 cups cornbread cubes (1 in.; see notes)
1/4 cup shelled pumpkin seeds (see notes)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
12 ounces kale, rinsed
2 slices thick-cut bacon (about 4 oz. total)
2 cleaned, boned whole trout, heads and tails removed (8 to 10 oz. each), rinsed and each cut into 2 fillets
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
How to Make It
Spread cornbread level in a 10- by 15-inch baking pan. Bake in a 350° oven until dry and lightly toasted, about 20 minutes. Place in a large bowl. Add pumpkin seeds, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper; mix.
Meanwhile, tear kale leaves away from tough center stems; discard stems. Cut or tear leaves into 2-inch pieces. In a 5- to 6-quart pan over high heat, bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Add kale and cook until tender to bite, 2 to 3 minutes; drain well. When cool enough to handle, squeeze water from leaves.
In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, cook bacon, turning often, until browned and crisp; transfer to paper towels to drain. Drain and discard all but 1 teaspoon fat in pan. When bacon is cool enough to handle, crumble and add to cornbread mixture in bowl.
Place trout, skin side up, in pan (in batches if necessary) and cook until browned on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn with a wide spatula, reduce heat to medium, and cook until fish is barely opaque but still moist-looking in center of thickest part (cut to test), 2 to 4 minutes longer. Transfer trout to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
Add olive oil and onion to pan and stir often until onion is limp, about 5 minutes. Stir in kale, vinegar, and lemon juice. Add kale mixture to cornbread mixture and mix well.
Spoon cornbread salad equally onto four plates and top each serving with a trout fillet.
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We made it as directed except we subbed prewashed, baby kales for the regular kale and skip boiling them. The corn bread recipe I followed had sugar in it and was buttermilk based. The buttermilk was right but the sugar was not a good match. A recipe with a savory cornbread recipe link would be an improvement. The fish got COLD while waiting on onions and greens to cook. I would probably do these in two different pans at the same time. There was too much crouton to greens and seeds. I would rebalance this with a sprinkling of seeds on the mixture and more greens. I would also make the croutons much smaller, - like 1/2" or smaller because they were a mouthful each themselves making a full bite almost impossible. The 1" croutons also took almost twice as long as the recipe says to dry out, ours took a full 40 minutes. Finally, the skin on the fish did not crisp up and soggy skin is just gross. Luckily it was easy to pull off.
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