Whenever I hear the word "walleye," I think of Minnesota and cold northern lakes. I picture men huddled in fishing shacks, drinking peppermint schnapps while dropping lines through holes cut in the ice.
These images and others are no doubt due to my rapt listening every week to "Prairie Home Companion," but I don't think they're far off the mark. For walleye is a quintessential northern fish--in fact, it's Minnesota's official state fish. It is also found in other northern-tier states as well as throughout most of Canada.
A few trivia facts about walleye: The name comes from the fact that the eyes of walleyes "glow" by reflecting light, much as a cat's eyes do. Walleyes can grow up to about 15 pounds in weight and reach two-and-a-half feet in length. Walleyes are nocturnal fish, feeding at night, which is when anglers are most likely to try to catch them.
Walleye is a prize game fish, but it is also caught commercially and processed into fillets. The flesh of walleye is definitely good eating--white, firm and tasty. Some people consider it to be the best-tasting of all freshwater fish.
You can cook walleye fillets using any recipe that you would for other species of white fish. Here are two that I like.
2 pounds walleye fillets
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup lime juice
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 teaspoon crushed rosemary
1/4 cup melted butter
2 tablespoons horseradish
1. In a pan large enough to accommodate the fillets, mix lemon juice, lime juice and garlic salt.
2. Lay the fillets in the pan to coat one side, then turn to coat the other side. Cover pan with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 1 hour to marinate the fish.
3. Remove fillets from the pan and sprinkle them with lemon pepper and rosemary.
4. Cook over hot barbecue grill for 8 to 10 minutes (4 to 5 minutes per side).
5. Stir horseradish into melted butter in a bowl, then spoon this mixture over the walleye fillets and serve.
2 pounds walleye fillets
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons lime juice
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon crushed rosemary
1. Blend lemon juice, lime juice, garlic, olive oil, wine, parsley and rosemary together until they form a kind of paste.
2. Place fish on broiler and brush with the paste. Broil fillets 20 to 30 minutes (10 to 15 minutes per side). Serve, garnishing as you wish with paprika, lemon wedges, etc.
Sarah Sandori is the food and entertaining columnist for the Solid Gold Info Writers Consortium. Have you ever wanted to be able to exactly duplicate a favorite dish from a favorite restaurant? Check out Sarah's article where she reveals her source for the most mouth-watering secret restaurant recipes in America: http://www.solid-gold.info/most-wanted-recipes.html
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