Butter Poached Walleye Almondine

They said there were walleye in our lake and we’ve tried every tactic known to man to catch one, to no avail.

Then one morning The Man Of Few Words ran up to the house as excited as a schoolboy passing his first love note.

In a way, it was.

“Kim! I caught a walleye!” (He knows it’s my favorite fish.)

I’ve watched him hurry up from shore to show me his latest large mouth bass from time to time, but that morning his demeanor was different. Proud, but humble. Excited, yet reverent. I love that about him.

I immediately started planning dinner.

Butter Poached Walleye Almondine

1 pkg. slivered almonds

4 Tbsp. clarified butter or ghee

Walleye fillets, rinsed and patted dry

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Lemon slices for garnish

Parsley for garnish (optional)

In a skillet over medium heat, toast almonds until fragrant and lightly browned. Watch closely and stir frequently so they don’t burn. Set aside on paper towels.

Melt butter or ghee in another skillet over medium heat. (I have induction skillets so I start them on low and increase the heat gradually.)

Add walleye fillets and saute’ 3 to 5 minutes depending on their thickness. As the underside cooks, tip skillet and spoon melted butter over top to “poach” the fillets. Flip them over and repeat poaching process.

Add toasted almonds around perimeter of skillet and give them a stir to coat with butter. Season with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice.

When the fillets flake easily with a fork, plate up and enjoy!

Enjoying lake lilfe,

~ Kim

Poor Man’s Lobster

When I think of the first Thanksgiving, I have nothing but respect and admiration for those first cooks.  No electricity.  No appliances.  No 24-hour supermarket to run to for that missed item.  Can you imagine?  It makes me entirely grateful to prepare a meal amidst “modern day” comforts.

That alone is reason to give thanks!

But, three things we have in common with our ancestors are love, gratitude and celebration — and I don’t know of one food blogger who isn’t enthusiastic and thankful to share a meal prepared with love for their loved ones.

Thinking about humble beginnings also made me recall my roots (and how much I miss home…) — Minnesota was where I learned to fish.  Although I don’t cast a line as often as I used to, there’s something about a simple fish dinner that makes me thankful.

The following recipe is one I’ve modified over the years, from a delightful cookbook called “Great Northwoods Cooking.”  (I don’t even know if it’s in print anymore —  you’d have to contact the Walker, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.)  Resort owners from around the lakes compiled their “best of the best,” and isn’t that what Thanksgiving is all about?

Poor Man’s Lobster

4 fish fillets (I used good ol’ Oklahoma bass, courtesy of The Man Of Few Words)

2 quarts water

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

2 T. sea salt (or to taste)

1/2 medium onion, quartered

1 bay leaf

Several sprigs of fresh parsley

Melted butter

Bring water, salt and lemon juice to a boil.  Add onion, bay leaf and parsley.  Cover and allow to steep for a few minutes.

Add fish fillets; bring to a boil again.  Reduce heat and simmer until fish is cooked — about 10 minutes depending on the size of your fillets.

With a slotted spoon, remove fish to a broiler pan.  (I cover mine with foil for easy clean-up — another reason to be thankful!)

Pat fillets dry with a paper towel, then broil for 3 to 5 minutes until slightly crisp.  Serve with melted butter.

(Recipe originally submitted by Betty Reese, Bay Shore Resort.)

Happy Thanksgiving!  Now go … COOK … and be sure to hug everybody twice.

Enjoying life with a little butter on it (for which I’m truly thankful),

~ Kim