Thursday, June 9, 2011

Dinner and Drinks: Pan Seared Walleye

Fish frys are great. But sometimes you get a filet so fat that deep frying it violates local ordinances and another method is called for. When those occasions arise, pan searing is a great way to go. It's pretty simple to do and you get some great taste out of few ingredients. You want the fish to be the star.

Pan Seared Walleye

walleye fillets (or heck, use whatever fish you want)
olive oil

two roma tomatoes (diced)
1 small onion (diced)
1 clove of garlic (minced)
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp tarragon

Season the fish with the salt, pepper and paprika. Pour a bit of olive oil into a skillet and heat on medium high to high. You want the oil to be hot. Use enough so that the fish will submerge about a third of the way. If the oil starts smoking, it's past time you got started. Place the fish down and press with a spatula. You hear a lot that this squeezes all the juice out of meats and fishes, but when pan searing you want to get a nice, well, sear on it. Pressing it down for a couple of seconds helps with that. Don't squeeze the life out of it, just press it a bit.

How long to cook on each side depends on how thick the filet is. It shouldn't take too long, however. The filet in the picture above took about 3-4 minutes per side and came out perfect. If that looks good to you, then you're done. Enjoy!

Otherwise, you can heat a teaspoon of olive oil in another skillet on medium-high. Add some minced garlic and sauteè for about 30 seconds. Add some diced onions and sauteè again -- while reducing the heat to medium-low -- for about 2 minutes or until the onions begin to soften. Add some diced roma tomatoes, tarragon, and salt and pepper to taste. Keep cooking for another 3-5 minutes, or until the tomatoes are softened but still firm. Spoon it on top of the fish and take it to the next level.

Normally for a companion wine I'd suggest a dry chardonnay. But I just got back from a week long fishing trip during which I drank entirely too much alcohol. With this dish I had a giant glass of skim milk.


  1. Looks great! But I never thought I'd see the day that you opted for skim milk over wine, beer or whiskey with dinner. Given your fishing/drinking trip, I'm sure your liver is appreciative.

  2. Yeah, my liver needed a day off. I'm back on beer now though.