Walleye is one my favorite fresh water fish. Living in Minnesota when I was in my mid teens to early adulthood was an ingredient that was local and common on the menus. When you go to the south or out west it is a fish that isn't so common and hard to find. Walleye is a delicious, delicate fish that can prepared in multiple ways. This recipe is a simple one just uses brown butter, capers, and grapes to enhance the fish. I also served a potato terrine, a vegetable compote and celery root puree to round out the dish. The vegetable compote I was really happy with because I had not quite done this combination before. I had fava beans that I pulsed in a food processor and then combined them brunoise celery root, zucchini, and leek. The result was really delicious and something I can't remember doing before. I finished the dish out on a bed of celery root puree. Here is the recipe I hope you enjoy
1 1/2 lb of Walleye fillet cut into 4 oz portions
1 stick of butter
1 cup of Grapes halved
3 tbsp of Capers
1 cup Bruniose zucchini
1 cup Bruniose leeks melted
1 cup Bruniose celery root
1 cup fava beans blanched then food processed course
Salt and pepper
Celery root puree (recipe)
Potato terrine (pave)
4 Idaho potatoes peeled shaved thin
1/2 cup cream
4tbsp truffle butter
Potato terrine (pave)
1 Terrine Mold
8-10 medium size potatoes peeled and slice thin
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion small diced
4 garlic cloves shaved thin
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup of cream
2 tbsp horseradish
1 tbsp chopped thyme
8 leaves basil
salt and pepper
Cheese is (optional)
3 oz fresh asiago
2 oz pave cheese
Dill to garnish and Fried Celery root (recipe )
For Potato Terrine, Preheat oven 400 degrees
For the first version, place cream in a bowl. Then shave potatoes on a mandolin into the cream. Line a terrine dish with plastic wrap or spray with non-stick spray. Lay potatoes in the terrine mold and season each layer with salt, pepper and truffle butter. Continue the process until all the potatoes are in the mold. Then place a cover on the terrine and bake for an hour or until a cake tester comes out clean.
or Alternative recipe that is a little bigger and bolder
In a small sauce pot add a olive oil and onions and saute for about 3 minutes on medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute; deglaze with white wine and reduce by half. Add the cream and horseradish and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper and pour into a large mixing bowl. Take a mandolin and slice potatoes into the hot cream mixture. Season the potatoes as you go with a little salt and pepper.
In the Terrine mold take a large piece of plastic wrap and place inside the mold to line it and have some overlapping it. Place the first layer of potatoes on the bottom making it all one level. Sprinkle with chopped thyme and shaved asiago. Repeat with another layer of potatoes. This time place the basil leaves and some of the Pave cheese. Repeat with previous steps alternating until you have come to the top all the time pressing down on the potatoes to try and make it as tight as possible. This will bring some of the cream to the top of the mold. Once you have the potatoes to the top of the mold add a little more cream to cover all the potatoes. The cream will cook into the potatoes and be left moist. Cover with the top and place in the over for about 1 hr and 15 minutes. Let it stand for 20 minutes. Then you can carefully un-mold the terrine and flip it up side down on to a plate taking all the plastic off the terrine. You can serve it hot, warm, or chilled with a salad.
For the vegetable compote,
In a small sauce pot with 1 tbsp of each butter and olive oil, add leeks and celery root. Add 2 pinches of salt and cover. Sweat the vegetables (shaking the pot without lifting the lid periodically) for about 8 minutes. Then add zucchini and cook for another 5 minutes. Make sure the heat is on medium to med-low. You don't want to brown the vegetables. Place the blanched fava beans into a food processor and pulse on an off for 30 seconds. You don't want the whole thing to puree but you also don't want gigantic pieces of fava beans either. Somewhere about the same size as the brunoise vegetables. (if a little bit gets pureed during the process it is fine because it actually helps hold the vegetables together). Add the beans to the pot and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. (Feel free to add an herb if you have them and want them ex chive, tarragon, or dill would be great) Set aside and keep warm.
Go to links to finish other parts of the recipe. Then In a big saute pan add 2 tbsp of oil. Season the walleye with salt on both sides. Season with pepper only on the fillet side (not skin side). Place the walleye skin side down in the pan, hold your fingers (or spatula) on top of the fish to press the fish down so the all the skin gets browned. (fish has a tendency to curl up when you place it in a semi-hot pan, when you push each fillet down for 10 or so seconds the fish will relax and the lay flat allowing the skin to cook evenly, resulting in perfectly crispy skin ). Cook the fish for 4-5 minutes only on the skin side. When you see the fish is almost cooked on the fillet side and the skin is browned flip it over for 30 seconds, then take out of the pan. Immediately add the stick of butter and allow it to brown. Once browned, add capers (with a little juice), and grapes. Season with salt and turn off the heat. To plate place a spoonful of celery root puree. Then cut a small piece of potato terrine out of the mold. Cut it in half again and place on the plate. Take 2 spoons and make a quenelle of the fava bean compote and place it next to the potatoes. Place a piece of walleye on the plate. Then spoon over the browned butter with capers and grapes. Finish with dill and fried celery root. Serve and enjoy!