Creole Pan Fried Walleye with Lemon Sauce

I enjoy fish, but I don’t cook it at home often, due to the lingering smell. Until I created this recipe, it was either Seared Teriyaki Ahi or Poached Salmon.


Discovering walleye was a revelation. It’s firm and flaky, not fishy at all, either while cooking or afterwards. It reminds me of sole, so it seemed a classic preparation was in order. I guess you could say this is a sole meunière on steroids.


Next time, I promise to show the finished dish, but it was late and we were so hungry, we just dived in. 

Ingredients

4 good size Walleye filets, 8-10oz each
3 Tbsp Butter, one Tbsp set aside to finish the sauce.
Sea Salt
Freshly ground Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 Lemon, squeezed
1/4 cup White Wine

Begin by removing the fish from the refrigerator and dusting both sides with your sea salt, black pepper and other spices. Let the fish rest for at least 10 minutes outside of the refrigerator. Cold fish doesn’t cook well.

Heat a large non stick sauté pan. Once it’s medium hot, add 2 Tbsp of butter. When the froth subsidies and the butter is just starting to turn amber, gently lay your fish, skin side down. Don’t move the fish too much as you want to create a nice crispy skin.

As the walleye is cooking, use a spoon and baste it with the butter. If the filets are not very thick, this may be enough to cook it through, but feel free to gently flip them over if need be. A slotted spatula is very handy here. 

Once done, remove them to heated plates. This is important, as fish will cool quickly and you need a few minutes to make your sauce.

Add your lemon juice and wine to the sauté pan and bring the heat up to high and stir until the sauce starts to thicken and then add your remaining 1 Tbsp of butter and continue stirring until the sauce glistens. Spoon your sauce over the walleye and serve immediately. It is great with the oven roasted cauliflower rice.

Note: I have found excellent quality walleye at Costco. It is fresh, not farmed and comes from Canada. If walleye is not available, any flaky white fish will do, but you might have to contend with some fish odor afterwards.

Cauliflower Rice – Doing It The Right Way

I had been hearing a lot about cauliflower rice and wanted to give it a try. So, I bought a package and proceeded to following the instructions on the back and it turned out to be awful. Smelled like cabbage and was too soft and watery. Very unappetizing.

Not one to be put off by one bad recipe, I gave it some thought and stumbled across the idea of roasting it in the oven and voila, it was amazing.

As I have noticed with a lot of the vegetables in that family, like broccoli and Brussels sprouts, they need to be able to roast in the oven to release the compounds that make them smell unpleasant.

We probably have this three nights a week. You can also add all sorts of additional ingredients to make it even better. This is always a good sign. 

Ingredients

1 32oz package of Cauliflower Rice
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Sea Salt, or to taste.
Freshly ground Black Pepper
Chili Flakes to taste
Parchment Paper

Preheat your oven to 425F, and while the oven is heating, pour the cauliflower rice into a large bowl and add the olive oil and toss to mix well and then add the sea salt, black pepper and chili flakes and toss again.


Turn it out onto a half sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Into the oven and bake for 30 minutes, giving it a stir half way through. I find the parchment paper really helps to crisp up the rice and give it a nice nutty flavor.


Remove from the oven and serve immediately. 


Optional Ingredients 


Garlic

Lemon
Chili Paste
Fish Sauce
Green Onions
Chopped Pecans

French Seafood Stew aka Bouillabaisse

I’ve always enjoyed bouillabaisse, but I’ve never tried making it. I assumed (wrongly) that it was very complicated. 

It is really simple to make and I have minimized the ingredients below, to make it even easier than a classical preparation. However, if you want a classic Bouillabaisse, just add in the optional ingredients listed below

Bouillabaisse is basically a fisherman’s stew and reflects what seafood was caught fresh that day. There are many variations of this classic dish from Marseille.
I like to start with the classic preparations and then branch off from there. If you find a set of common ingredients, then you can start to craft your own recipe and make it your own. 
I love cookbooks and read them like novels. I always basically know the recipe I want to prepare, but I find that looking at multiple recipes and sources, gives me the best results. This is loosely based on Ina Garten’s Seafood Stew. 
Ingredients 
4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 large Onion, chopped 
1 teaspoon Sea Salt
1 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Thyme
2 Bay Leaf
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 cup White Wine
1 tsp Saffron threads, crushed in palm of your hand.
1 (28-ounce) can diced Tomatoes, juice included
2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1 quart Seafood or Fish Stock
1 cup Clam Juice
1Tbsp Red Boat Fish Sauce
1 Tbsp Garlic, chopped 
1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined. 
1 pound each Halibut, Hake, Cod or Monkfish, cut in large chunks. So 2 pounds total.
1 tsp grated Orange zest
Optional ingredients: Fennel Bulb, Pernod, Potatoes, fresh Clams, fresh Mussels or Scallops

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or stockpot, add the onions, salt, pepper, and spices, (if using potatoes, add them here) and sauté over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, until the onions begin to lightly carmelize. 

Add the wine and the saffron and let it simmer and become fragrant. Add the tomato paste and incorporate, add tomatoes, seafood stock, clam juice, fish sauce and garlic to the pot, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 15 -20 minutes. 
Add the shrimp and fish and bring up to a boil, then lower the heat, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the pot to sit covered for another 5 minutes. 
Stir in the Pernod, if using, orange zest, and add salt to taste as needed. Serve in large bowls with toasted garlic baguette slices. 
Note: Classic preparations often call for fennel bulb and the addition of Pernod. I find that many people are not fond of that anise taste, so I have left it out of my recipe. If you want to include it, just use 1/2 cup thinly sliced fennel bulb sautéed along with the onions and 2 Tbsp of Pernod added at the end. 
Additionally, feel free to add additional seafood as desired. Its important to remember that clams and mussels must be scrubbed before adding them to the bouillabaisse, and remember to discard any of them that do not fully open.