Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Walleye Cakes

 
I am not usually one for contests, my ego is far to fragile to be judged. I do from time to time forget that and recently I saw that a group called Fishsmart was holding a recipe contest to promote sustainable fishing practices. Fish smart is a program of the Minnesota Zoo and their main focus is to promote safe and sustainable seafood choices to help protect out dwindling fish supplies. That is something I can get on board with so I figured why not give it a try. The result was of course predictable and I did not win but that just means I get to post my recipe hear to share with all of you.
 
 
I grew up here in Minnesota and like many Minnesotans I like walleye. I have been fishing for, catching and eating walleye since I was old enough to walk. Although I grew up eating my walleye breaded in saltine crackers I felt this contest warranted a better recipe than that. I had been trying to use fish in as many different ways as I can so this just played right into that. These walleye cakes are as good as they get in my opinion but if you don’t have walleye you can substitute any of Minnesota’s other fish. This recipe works very nicely with carp and northern pike as they are both very boney fish and you can pick out the bones after poaching the fillets

 
Minnesota's walleye population is always a hot topic around the state. They are by far the most popular fish in the state and anyone who calls themselves a Minnesotan loves them. Walleye regulations are very closely monitored by the State Department of Natural Resources and on many of Minnesota's most popular lakes slot limits and fishing restrictions apply. These walleye were caught near Wabasha, MN on the Mississippi river where walleye populations are stable.
 
When I was a kid we used to catch walleye all day long just using a Lindy Rig right off the dock at my grandparents house. Today most of the walleye's I catch I release right back into the lake because walleye populations are down. I try to make an effort to only keep fish that I know I am going to eat and usually only keep fish that are numerous in whatever body of water I am fishing. I have been trying to use more of the invasive species and rough fish here in Minnesota's waters like carp but have not had a lot of success catching them. I did have One really good day of bowfishing last year but that was a guided trip and not very practical on a regular basis. 
 
I highly recommend checking out the fishsmart page if you are interested in learning more about sustainable seafood.


Walleye Cakes 

1 lbs walleye fillets
1 cup white wine
1 cup water
2 slices of lemon
2 slices red onion
3-4 sprigs of thyme
2-3 garlic cloves
Salt and pepper

Place the fillets in a baking dish and cover with the white wine and water. I used a nice Sauvignon Blanc but you could use any type of white wine you enjoy. Add the lemon, onion, thyme garlic and a pinch of salt and some pepper. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes until the fillets flake easily. Remove the fillets from the liquid and let cool, then flake the meat up into a mixing bowl.

 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
1/4 cup finely diced red pepper
1/4 cup finely diced carrots
3 tablespoons butter unsalted
1 clove garlic minced
1/4 tsp. Penzey's all-purpose seasoned salt (or any other seasoned salt you have)
2 eggs
Lemon zest
Juice of half a lemon
Panko bread crumbs

Oil for frying

While the fillets are cooking melt butter in a saut√© pan and then add the carrots, onion and peppers. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the carrots begin to soften then add the garlic and cook for one minute more. Allow the vegetable mixture to cool then add it to the fish along with the lemon zest, lemon juice and seasoned salt. Beat the eggs and then add them to the mix, fold the mixture gently but make sure it is mixed evenly. Form patties and roll in bread crumbs. Pour about a quarter inch of oil in a frying pan and heat oil. Fry the patties for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden brown. 

I served mine with a Sriracha Aoili but regular old Hellman’s Tartar sauce is just as good.


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