I feel somewhat victorious (as opposed to Victorian) tonight: A fish dish without a cream sauce that my wife liked!
I poached the trout I filleted earlier today in champagne and then created a reduction sauce by adding some lemon and a teensy bit of butter.
On a whim, I served the sauce on the side. My wife's comment was, "This fish is really good, and I like it better without the sauce." Eureka! Perhaps it is the champagne-poaching, or perhaps it is the fact that the trout was pretty fresh (as fresh as one can expect here in the Arizona desert), or perhaps she just likes the flavor of trout. Regardless, her comment was, 'it doesn't taste fishy."
By the way, I have found an excellent inexpensive champagne for poaching: Cook's Extra Dry California Champagne. It is barely drinkable, but it works great for poaching and it is only $5/bottle at my local supermarket.
Trout Fillet Poached in Champagne
2 fresh trout fillets
3 cups dry champagne
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 bay leaves
Chop the shallots. Place the butter and oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. When the butter foam subsides, add the shallots and bay leaves. Saute until the shallots are translucent. Add the champagne. Let the champagne come to a boil then add the fillets. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and let the trout poach for about 5-8 minutes or until done.
I served the trout with brown-braised onions and sauteed mushrooms straight out of Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking.