Thursday, February 09, 2012

Baked Rosemary-Lemon Walleye - Feb 9, 2012

What's this? A fish dinner that Nick did not cook? That's right, while I usually leave fish preparation to the resident expert, I decided to try my hand at it the other night. Nick and I had just returned from a long weekend in Portland, visiting family and friends (including a non-quorum dinner club at a recuperating Anna's), and I needed to make a pantry dinner, as I had not yet had a chance to get to the store. I was also craving something light, as we'd really gorged ourselves on the trip (the 'Reggie' at Pine State Biscuits, Beef roast at Anna's, Voodoo doughnuts, Bunk Sandwiches, too many good beers to get the idea). We had two walleye fillets in the freezer and some lemons and rosemary that needed to get used or composted, so I got to work.

While pre-heating the oven to 350 deg F, I thinly sliced a lemon and arranged the slices on top of my rosemary sprigs, which I had put in the bottom of an oven proof saute pan. I placed the still frozen fillets, drizzled with olive oil, and seasoned with salt and pepper, on top of this bed. I added just a little water to the bottom of the pan and placed it in the oven, checking every 5 - 10 minutes or so. After about 15 or 20 minutes, the fillets were nearly cooked through. At this point I turned off the oven and turned on the broiler. While that heated up, I covered the fillets with a bread crumb and salt and pepper mixture. I drizzled just a bit more olive oil over, to help the crumbs stick, and popped this back under the broiler, checking every one to two minutes so it wouldn't burn.

We served the fish with a potato and celeriac mash, which was inspired by our side dish at Anna's. The walleye was perfectly done and the bread crumbs added a nice crunch. Baking was much easier than pan-frying the fish because the rosemary-lemon bed prevented any sticking to the pan. The house also smelled much better, neither fishy nor fry-y, which I quite appreciated.  Thus, I deem my first official 'Weekly Fish' a success.
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