Thursday, April 29, 2010

The last few weeks have been ART, ART, ART….but, right now I am in the mood for FOOD!

Years ago we used to go to Minnesota in the summer. My in-laws rented a fishing cabin on a lake for 6 weeks, and we would join them for a week. One of the perks of spending that time with my mother-in-law was walleye pike. She and Charlie would sit in the boat until lunchtime, and then return to the cabin with a boat load of crappie and walleye. While they were fishing, we would go in to town and buy fresh rye bread from a wonderful Swedish bakery. I will never forget the aromas in that bakery!

Anyway…lunchtime meant freshly caught and perfectly fried fish, sliced tomatoes and Swedish rye bread! I’ve been thinking about that fish a lot. Maybe it is the warm weather, maybe the talk about summer vacations, possibly the planning of the garden at the vineyard….whatever it is, I miss fried walleye!

Here is a recipe for a sandwich that I call Minnesota Dreamin’. Sure, you can skip the sauce and use mayo or tartar sauce, but you will be missing a great sauce!

Makes 2 servings.
2 4-oz pieces walleye pike
1 egg, beaten with
2 tablespoons buttermilk
vegetable oil for frying
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons cornmeal
Creole seasoning
4 slices Swedish rye bread
2 dill pickle spears

1 hard-boiled egg
2 ounces anchovy fillets, rinsed and chopped
1 teaspoon crushed capers
1/2 teaspoon chopped chervil
1/2 teaspoon chopped tarragon
1/2 teaspoon chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon chopped chives
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon champagne vinegar
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper

Place the fish fillets in the egg and buttermilk mixture.

CAMBRIDGE SAUCE: In a small bowl combine egg, anchovy fillets, capers, chopped herbs, Dijon mustard, vinegar, cayenne, and salt and pepper. Stir and mash together thoroughly. Then gradually add the oil and incorporate completely. You should end up with a mayonnaise type consistency. Place vegetable oil in a deep saute pan to come no more than 1/3 up the side of the pan. Heat until a deep fat fry thermometer registers 350 degrees.

Meanwhile, in a shallow bowl combine the flour and cornmeal, and season with the Creole seasoning. Coat the fish fillets with the flour mixture. Carefully drop the fish fillets into the saute pan and fry until golden, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, spread the bread slices with a generous coating of the Cambridge Sauce. Remove the fish from the pan and drain on paper towels. Place each piece on a slice of bread and top with another slice. Garnish with the pickles.

The fresh herbs in this recipe make the sauce fresh and delicious. I have a great new friend, Brenda, who lives not far from the vineyard. She lives in a wonderful old Victorian surrounded by her garden. Today, Brenda shared some of her herbs with me. Chives, parsley, oregano, fennel, even chocolate mint. As I left Brenda’s, I mentioned I had a great desire to have a Kahlua and Cream with her Chocolate Mint. Trust me…it was magnificent, but I hope you know it is not my drink of choice with the walleye sandwich ! No, for the sandwich, I would choose a Somerset Ridge white, probably Oktoberfest!

Hope you find some walleye soon!

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