Well, I would really call it soup, but my husband frowns at soup, so stew it is. Plus, he eats it over rice 🍛and I slurp it out of a bowl 🥣.
We have a freezer full of walleye currently, but it won’t last long enough. We love it in fish cakes, baked, or planked on the grill. I wanted something different and I already had some cans of coconut cream (unsweetened) in the cupboard, so a curry seemed like a good idea. I was already roasting some peppers for the week and had a package of cremini mushrooms in the refrigerator; all I needed was the ginger, lemongrass, and red curry paste. I used chicken stock, because I already had some, but you could certainly use a fish stock as the base. Should I be making stock with all the parts of the fish that are thrown away? 🤔
This soup was too easy to make, but I’m not complaining.
Thai Coconut Curry Walleye Stew
Add time to roast peppers, unless you already have a stash in the refrigerator.
- Extra virgin olive oil for sauteing vegetables
- 1 small onion, minced (you could use shallots for a milder flavor)
- 8-10 oz sliced mushrooms (I used cremini, but shiitake would be pretty)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt; 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons grated ginger
- 1-2 tablespoons minced lemon grass
- 2-3 teaspoons red curry paste (I used 2 but would use more next time)
- 2 red or yellow or orange bell peppers, roasted, peeled, and sliced
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce (more or less depending on whether you can stand the smell)
- 2 cups chicken stock or broth
- 2 cans coconut cream—this is not a sweetened item; it is thicker and creamier than regular coconut milk
- 1 lb walleye fillets cut in large chunks, about 1 1/2″
- juice of one lime
- In a large pot, heat about 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and mushrooms and cook until softened, but not browned. Season with salt and pepper.
- Stir in the ginger, lemon grass, and red curry paste.
- Add chicken stock, fish sauce, and bell peppers and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Stir in coconut cream, bring to a simmer and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- Add the walleye chunks and cook for about 5-7 minutes. Some of the chunks will flake; some will remain large.
- Stir in the lime juice.
Wonderful as a soup, or it could be served over rice for the carb eaters in the family.
I’ve referenced this method before, but since I have cut out a lot of carbs in my diet (in an effort to keep my blood sugars low), I needed another way to crust the fish. I’m using Parmigiano Reggiano on my fillets, but my husband’s lactose intolerance means that he still gets the panko breading. I’m cooking a lot of dishes in two ways these days, and it’s not as hard as it might seem. I don’t want to make two completely different meals every day, so making meals that can be adapted for both our issues is easiest—he eats the rice and potatoes, I eat the cheeses and sour cream; we both eat the meat and vegetables. You’ll see that reflected in a number of new posts, although I won’t always show two ways of serving a dish, and I’m not changing the blog into any sort of a diet blog—I won’t always tell you when I’m not eating something.
I think I like the cheese coating better, as it turns out. If you do use the cheese, you might want to reduce the salt in the mayo marinade.
Baked Walleye—Two Ways
Preheat oven to 425º; line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
For 6 fillets:
- 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2-3 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Take out 1/2 cup of marinade for 2 fillets and stir in 1 tablespoon Sriracha.
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 1-2 cups finely shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese ( I also put some larger shavings on the top of the fish before baking)
- Lay out the fillets in a glass dish that will hold them without overlapping, spread the mayo mixture over each fillet, with the Sriracha blend on two of them. Turn and cover the other side. It’s messy, but it all works out.
- Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
- After one hour, remove the fillets from the refrigerator to bread.
- Pour about 2 cups panko crumbs on a paper towel or in a large dish. Spread out about 1 cup finely shredded Parmesan on another paper towel.
- Carefully place fillets in crumbs or cheese, pressing the coating into the mayo all around. You can’t avoid breading your fingers, but don’t worry about the mess.
- Place each fillet on parchment-lined baking sheet. I use a meat fork to lift the fillets at this point and it helps keep the coating on the fish.
- Bake at 425° for about 10-15 minutes or until crumbs/cheese are browning.
- I put all the fish on one baking sheet and it was easy to keep the cheese and bread crumbs apart, but two smaller sheets could be used.
I’m violating my own idea of a gratin here. Mine is of a shallow vegetable dish with a light topping of breadcrumbs, fine breadcrumbs. Maybe cheese in the topping or sauce. Still, this venison gratin, as I’m calling it, is shallow, made in a cast iron skillet. The crumb topping, however, is rougher, more rustic, almost like those leftover stuffing toppings you make after the holidays. I think I could have kept the food processor going longer for a finer crumb, but I guess I was in a rustic mood. So, like I said in the title, do you have any leftover garlic bread? With the flavors of your garlic bread already in place—garlic, olive oil or butter, herbs, and maybe some Parmesan—you have the makings of a flavorful topping for a gratin.
torn up garlic bread
Preheat oven to 350º; if using a separate casserole dish, butter the dish. A large (12″) cast iron skillet works great because you can cook the filling in it and then pop it in the oven with the crumb topping on.
- 1 lb venison cut in 1/2″ cubes
- 1 medium onion cut in small dice
- 1-2 cups mushrooms (I used cremini) cut in small dice (so your picky eaters won’t pick them out)
- 2 large carrots cut in 1/2″ dice
- olive oil for browning meat and vegetables
- 2 cups broth (I used beef)
- beurre manié of 4 tablespoons butter and 4 tablespoons flour
- leftover garlic bread, pulsed in food processor
- olive oil or melted butter to moisten crumbs
Basically, I prepared a little stew, then topped it with the crumbs and browned it in the oven.
- Add 1-2 tablespoons oil to a hot skillet and brown the venison over medium-high heat. Remove to a platter.
- Add onions and mushrooms to the hot skillet and continue to cook until lightly browned.
- Return venison to the skillet with the carrots. Add the broth. Cover and simmer until the meat is tender, about 30 minutes.
- Over medium heat, stir in the beurre manié until distributed. Continue to stir until the broth is thickened. Remove from the heat.
- Moisten your garlic bread crumbs with olive oil or butter, just enough to lightly moisten without becoming oily.
- Sprinkle the crumbs over the top all the way to the edge.
- Bake in oven for about 15-20 minutes until lightly browned.
I was trying to think of what to stuff in this mini bacon-wrapped meatloaf, and then my husband brought in a bunch of poblanos from the garden. Usually I stuff the poblanos with meat and cheese, so it was just a matter of turning the whole thing inside-out. Traditionally, you wouldn’t use bacon with stuffed poblanos, but I didn’t expect the stuffed poblano police to stop by, so I didn’t worry about it. Smoking takes time, and ground meat needs a fatty buffer, like bacon, to keep it moist during the longer cooking. It took about 2 hours to smoke to the point that a little cheese started to melt out of one end, and a thermometer registered 165º-170º in the center (of course, the center was pepper and cheese).
I only used 1 lb of ground meat for the two of us, and there were still leftovers. You’ll have to consider how much to make for your group. Usually, for example, I would use 1 lb of ground meat to make four burgers, and we would have one left over. Personally, I prefer less than a quarter pound for my burger, but I’m probably unusual. You could make several of these rolls for a larger group of people. I cut our one roll into six thick slices.
I made a woven mat of bacon to wrap the filled meatloaf in, using my favorite local thick-sliced bacon. It’s very thick and so you can’t stretch it like the typical thin commercial bacon. I made the mat 6 strips wide, but had to add partial pieces into the weaving to make it fully woven. I’m not sure you can see those half pieces in the photo. After wrapping the roll, I sealed the edges with another strip and put that side of the roll down on the grill grate. I didn’t worry about having beautiful ends, but I did pinch the rolled meat together to hold in the cheese for as long as possible. I wrapped it all tightly in plastic and refrigerated it for about an hour to try to convince it to stay in that nice loaf shape. The lesson here is this: Don’t fret about the appearance too much. Just take your time and keep handling it until it all seems to hold together. Believe me, the gorgeous smoked bacon on the outside and the gooey cheese on the inside will overpower any construction flaws.
meat filling mix
Peel and seed peppers
Filling and bacon mat
About half way through
Center of finished roll
Inside-Out Stuffed Poblanos. Smoked. With Bacon.
- 1/2 lb ground beef, 93% lean
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cut in small dice
- 1 tablespoon garlic, mashed or grated
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ancho pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 2 poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, and seeded
- 2 long 1/2″ wide sticks of Monterrey Jack cheese, each about the length of your meat roll (it doesn’t matter if you have to use smaller pieces)
- 1 pkg thick-sliced bacon, at least 12 strips
- On a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper, make a mat of woven bacon, about 6 strips wide and using as many pieces as you need to weave in the opposite direction. If you make it too big, you can always remove pieces, as needed. Set aside.
- Mix the first eleven ingredients together in a large bowl—meat, breadcrumbs, tomatoes, and spices. Form the meat into a log about the length of your bacon mat, then pat it out on a piece of plastic wrap to make a square. It was easy enough to pat it out with my hands, but I’ve seen videos of people using rolling pins and even large plastic bags. Just make it even and squared off at the corners so you don’t end up with a football shape.
- Lay out sections of poblano peppers to fit the meat, but don’t worry about getting them out to the ends, because you want to pinch them together after rolling.
- Lay sticks of cheese on top of the peppers lengthwise and far enough apart that you can roll them up in the meat. But this isn’t rocket science—fill the roll as full as you like with as much as you can cram in there.
- Roll up the meat, using the plastic wrap to help you. Roll rather tightly and firmly, using pressure from your hands to mold and keep it all together. Pinch the ends together to cover the filling and pat the ends kind of flat so you have a neat cylinder.
- Set the meat roll on the mat of bacon and use the plastic wrap to bring the bacon up the sides—if you’re lucky the bacon will meet or come close to meeting and you can weave in a last piece to hold it together. Wrap the whole thing in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for about an hour. Bring it out about 30 minutes before the grill is ready, but leave in the plastic wrap.
- Set up the grill for slow, indirect heat with a 2 X 2 charcoal snake and a few handfuls of wood chips scattered over it. When your starter coals are ready and you’ve started the snake, set the roll on the cooking grate above a drip pan and close the grill. Cook and smoke for about 1 1/2-2 hours. The bacon should be browned and glossy with crispy areas, and the center will probably reach at least 165º, but keep in mind that you are measuring melted cheese in the center.
- Remove to a cutting board; let rest for a few minutes; then cut in thick slices.
I ended up burning only 1/3 of my charcoal snake, so today, I’m smoking some ribs with the remainder.