"Mi-cuit is French for "half-cooked," which, for fish like trout, is the sweet spot for the best texture and flavor. In this case, you get tender flesh with nice, crispy skin. It's a simple preparation that can be used with many types of fish, including jackets, snapper, salmon, wahoo, and striped bass, and if you're missing some ingredients, no worries. You can always just go with salt, pepper, and a bit of lemon juice."
Recipe reprinted from Good Catch: A Guide to Sustainable Fish and Seafood with Recipes from the World's Oceans by © 2023 Valentine Thomas. Published by Union Square & Co. Photography © Andrew Thomas Lee.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Sprinkle the trout skin with salt and let sit for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, add the cream cheese, crème fraîche, sumac, chili powder, lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons of the chives. Stir to combine well.
In a medium ovenproof pan set over medium-high heat, add the oil. Once the oil is lightly smoking, add the fillets to the pan, skin-side down. Gently pressing the fish with a spatula, sear the skin until crispy, 3 to 4 minutes. Without flipping the fish, transfer the pan to the oven to finish cooking, 3 to 4 minutes. (The fish should look look opaque on the outside but still be raw in the middle.)
Divide the cream cheese mixture among 4 plates, topping each with 1 trout fillet. Garnish with the remaining 1 tablespoon chives.