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.
Nothing says spring like fresh local asparagus. The season is about done here and the grocery store stock later on will not be as tender, probably because it’s picked too early wherever it comes from. Our local asparagus, even when the stalks look too thick, is always tender and the taste is incomparable. I wanted something grand to pair with the asparagus and the large Louisiana shrimp at Wegman’s was just the right item.
Everything but the orzo was grilled, then it was all combined at the last minute. Cooking the orzo in chicken stock created it’s own sauce, so it was really easy. I added one diced canned San Marzano tomato, some fresh garlic, and parsley to the stock as it was simmering to round out the flavors.
Grilled Shrimp and Spring Orzo
MARINATE THE SHRIMP
- 1 1/2 lbs large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
- 1/4 teaspoon finely ground white pepper
- 1 tablespoon grated or roasted garlic
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
Mix all marinade ingredients and add to the shrimp in a large resealable bag. Toss to coat and refrigerate for a couple of hours. Just before grilling the shrimp, thread onto skewers. I don’t add salt until the shrimp are on the skewers ready to grill.
Set up your grill for about 350°-400°; I used 60 charcoal briquettes, turning them out of the chimney into the center of the grill.
- 2 large orange, red, or yellow bell peppers, halved and seeded
- 2 medium onions, cut in thick slices
- 1 lb or more asparagus stalks, trimming if necessary. I only added the 3″ tips to my dish, saving the grilled ends for other uses during the week.
- extra virgin olive oil to drizzle on vegetables
- salt & pepper
- Grill all the vegetables in stages, or as they fit on your grill. Set each aside until all are finished. I peeled my peppers when they were done.
- Asparagus tips: Place crosswise on the grill grate over direct heat, turning as needed to get some char on all sides, but not so much that they are burnt. then move them to the outer sides of the grill to continue cooking over indirect heat until done. I came this close to not dropping any through the grate until I was taking them off:
- Prepare the orzo before you grill the shrimp. Grill the shrimp at the last minute and place over the top of the pasta. Grill over direct heat just until done, only a few minutes on each side until all the shrimp are pink.
PREPARE THE ORZO
- 8 oz whole wheat orzo
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1/2-1 cup water
- 1 chopped canned plum tomato
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon grated or roasted garlic
Bring all the ingredients to a low boil, stirring often so the orzo doesn’t stick to the pan, then simmer for about ten minutes or until the orzo is tender. Stir in the chopped grilled vegetables, then top with the grilled shrimp.
My favorite way to use the slow cooker is on the high setting, where I can count on meats not being dried out and flavorless. That’s what I find happens when you cook meat for 8-10 hours while you are at work. Soups and dried bean recipes do well for the long cooking, but even then any added meats are usually overcooked, unless you have a large piece like a pork shoulder. So, I’ve found a number of recipes that cook up in 3-5 hours, like my Butter Chicken/Pheasant recipe, that takes care of the delicate little pheasant breasts. Of course, I’m retired, so I can make use of the shorter cooking times any day of the week.
This slow cooker pulled chicken is a variation of the slow cooker pulled pork recipe originally from Chowhound. Here are the few changes I’ve made to accommodate chicken:
- I cut back the cinnamon in the rub to 1/2 teaspoon
- I rubbed the chicken pieces with the rub and let them marinate in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for about 4 hours
- I only used one onion and 1/2 cup of chicken broth, because I only used 5 boneless chicken thighs
Marinated chicken on onion-garlic bed
Sandwiches with slaw
Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken
- 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- Place the chicken and rub in a large plastic bag, seal, and turn to coat all pieces well. Refrigerate for about 4 hours or even overnight.
- In the crock of a slow cooker, place the onions, garlic, and chicken broth. Place the chicken pieces on top and close the lid.
- Cook on high for about 4 hours. Pull the chicken apart in the crock and mix well with the onions and broth.
- Pile meat on buns and serve your favorite way, which for us is with a creamy slaw.
Maybe this is mostly a meatball recipe, because the stuff you put in your noodle bowls, other than the noodles, doesn’t need to be prescribed—it’s more likely to be directed by what’s available at your grocery on any given day. Like, for example, the enoki mushrooms that my grocery did not have. I had my heart set on them, so skipped mushrooms altogether. So, first, make the meatballs:
Pheasant Meatballs for Japanese Noodle Bowls
Preheat oven to 375°; line baking sheet pan with parchment paper.
- 1–1 1/2 lbs ground pheasant
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 shallots, finely diced (you could substitute green onions)
- 1-2 tablespoons ginger paste
- 1-2 tablespoons garlic paste
- 2 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- olive oil for baking
- Combine all ingredients in large bowl with your hands, especially to get the two meats distributed well.
- Using a small scoop, form the mixture into meatballs of about 3/4-1″, placing them on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Drizzle olive oil over the meatballs.
- Bake for about 10 minutes, then turn and bake for another ten minutes.
Feel free to brown them in a skillet, but I’m not really into that, myself. I would, however, like them simmered in the soup, because I don’t care about the browning, so there’s another option.
Miso Ramen Noodle Bowl
This recipe is simple because it doesn’t require making your own stock, but please do so if you have the time or have some homemade stock on hand.
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup white miso paste
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- [2 teaspoons dashi powder, if you can find it—I could not ,at my grocery]
- 9-12 oz Japanese ramen noodles, boiled then rinsed in cold water
- 1 cup snow peas, steamed in microwave for just 2 minutes
- 1 can sliced bamboo shoots
- 1 can baby corn
- meatballs (above)
- Bring stock (and dashi powder, if you found it) to a boil in large saucepan. Stir in chopped spinach and simmer for about 5 minutes until wilted.
- Stir in miso and soy sauce.
- Arrange noodles, corn, bamboo shoots, and snow peas in bowls. Add a few meatballs and a ladle of stock.