I have returned from my conference in Bethlehem, PA two cookbooks richer courtesy of the Moravian Book Store.

Another Bethlehem landmark I was hoping to investigate in detail was The Sun Inn, which has been a part of the local townscape since 1758 and has a lengthy 18th Century celebrity guest list. I had found out about The Sun via Debbie Nunley and Karen Jane Elliott’s A Taste of Pennsylvania History, which I picked up back when I moved to the Philadelphia area five years ago. Time has not been kind to this book…when I showed it to some other librarians at breakfast they went through it and pointed out all the places which had burned down or gone out of business since.

The Sun’s still there and still intact, but the restaurant aspect of the site is defunct, and if you want to eat there you need to rent it out and hire a caterer. It’s still a beautifully restored building, however.

Denied my chance to dine by proxy with Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and the Marquis de Lafayette (one day I need to find out where Sir William Howe, Lord Cornwallis, and Lord Hugh Percy had dinner…the imagined conversation would be much more congenial), I was left with the two recipes the Sun had provided for the cookbook. My girlfriend’s allergic to shellfish, so Gouvernor Morris’ Crab Soup was out and Benjamin Franklin’s Almond Trout was in. 

I ended up not being able to get the almond menthe the recipe called for (in Pennsylvania we are at the mercy of the State Liquor Control Board), so I crossed my fingers and tried Amaretto instead. This worked so well that I named my Almond Trout variant after Franklin’s Loyalist nemesis, Pennsylvania’s own Joseph Galloway.

Almond Trout Joseph Galloway

  • 2 tbs butter, divided
  • 2 tbs sliced almonds
  • 2 8oz rainbow trout fillets, boned
  • 3 tbs Amaretto
  • 1 cup heavy cream 

Heat 1 tbs butter in skillet. Add almonds and trout and cook for 2 minutes. Place 1/2 tbs butter on top of each trout fillet and broil for 7-10 minutes. For sauce, light Amaretto in a medium saucepan. When flame goes out, add cream and simmer to thicken, stirring constantly. Place one fillet on each of two plates and top with sauce.

This is actually a tremendously fast recipe…the longest part of it is waiting for the sauce to thicken and even with that it took me only about 25 minutes to get it all prepared, so it’s good for a work night.  

Potatoes are a natural side for fish. This is my new potato cheat.

Very Easy New Potatoes

  • 6-10 new potatoes
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp paprika or to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a small baking pan with foil. Add olive oil to pan and sprinkle spices on top. Roll pan to coat evenly. Cut potatoes in half and place cut side down in pan.  Bake for 45 minutes or until tender.