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.
Ted brought back a steelhead trout the last time he was out fishing for walleye on Lake Erie, even though he wants no part of eating salmon or their cousins—he says they’re fishy, but I think he probably just had a bad experience. So, I’m having the steelhead and taking out a small walleye for him—mine on the grill; his baked in the oven.
He skinned the steelhead, so I can’t rely on skin acting as a barrier to sticking on the grill. I’ll have to be careful, making sure the grill is hot and well-oiled, and then watch for that perfect moment to flip. I’m going to use a marinade with soy and brown sugar, so that may add a little layer of protection or it may act like glue—who knows?
But let’s start with the walleye. I’m using a mayonnaise base in which to briefly marinate the fish; then it gets coated with panko bread crumbs. It creates a light crispy coating with a delicate, moist fish inside. The easiest part is that you just bake it, so there’s no messy, splattering oils to clean up afterward.
Here are the two fish after marinating for an hour in the fridge and the walleye with the panko crumbs waiting to go into the oven. You can see how neat the walleye look with the panko pressed in all around; there’s no mayo leaking out:
The walleye only need to bake for about 10-15 minutes in a hot oven or until they start to brown. The steelhead fillets, which are much thinner than a salmon steak, grill up in about 5 minutes and didn’t stick at all today—just don’t try to flip them more than once.
Yes, he likes to eat off those cheap Corelle® plates and I prefer the heavier Fiesta® ones, but I have my eye on new dinnerware that we could both like.
Baked Walleye with Panko
For two fillets:
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1-2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
*I don’t like to over season the fish, but you can certainly add your favorite seasonings to the mayo mixture.
- In a glass dish that will hold your fillets without overlapping, spread the mayo mixture over each fillet. Turn and cover the other side.
- Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
Panko Crust and Baking
- Preheat oven to 425°; line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place about 2 cups unseasoned panko crumbs on a paper towel or in a shallow dish. You could use seasoned crumbs or add seasoning, but I find it unnecessary.
- Carefully place fillets in crumbs, pressing crumbs into the mayo all around. You can’t avoid breading your fingers, but it all works out.
- Place each fillet on parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake at 425° for about 10-15 minutes or until crumbs are browning.
Grilled Steelhead with Honey-Soy Marinade
In the summer, I usually throw together marinades on the run with what’s available, often with orange juice and ginger and soy, but today I borrowed a good recipe from Betty Crocker that is usually made with salmon: “Grilled Salmon with Honey-Soy Marinade.” I changed the preparation a little.
- 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 clove garlic, minced or garlic paste
- Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
- Place in microwave to melt butter—my microwave button for that runs for 25 seconds.
- Whisk the warmed ingredients to dissolve the brown sugar, then set aside to cool. Do not put a warm marinade on the fish.*
- Pour the room temperature marinade over the fish in a shallow glass dish. Turn to coat.
- Cover dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
- Bring to room temperature before grilling.
- Set up grill for medium-high heat, about 400°; clean grill grate when hot.
- Mop grate generously with olive or vegetable oil just before grilling the fish.
- Place the fillets on the grill; turn after 2-3 minutes with a large, fine-edged turner. Grill for another 2 minutes.
*Leave a small amount of marinade in a separate bowl for basting, if you like.
I’ve been eating this dressing in an apple salad with walnuts and dried figs for lunch recently, but it would be good with any fruit or vegetable salad or with chicken strips or wings. The blue cheese is the star, but I wouldn’t use a premium eating blue, like my favorite Stilton in it. I would eat the Stilton in a deconstructed salad of apples, figs (dried or fresh), and nuts. Just buy two cheeses, one for the dressing and one for munching. Today, I used a Danish Blue in the dressing, and picked up a little wedge of Stilton while I was at it for an indulgent snack.
My ranch recipe is as easy as possible. Equal amounts of buttermilk, sour cream, and mayonnaise, plus chives and dill and salt. I haven’t been adding garlic for my apple salad purposes, but I would add it if dressing pasta or vegetables.
I’ve made more complicated ranch dressings before, but it soon became obvious that it doesn’t need to be complicated to be good. It’s not a low fat dressing, but it has no added refined sugar or sharp vinegar, both of which characteristics are good for me. You could easily make a lower-fat version with common substitutions.
Blue Cheese Ranch Dressing
- 1/2 cup buttermilk (mine was whole milk buttermilk)
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise, preferably Hellmann’s
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons dried chives
- 1 tablespoon dried dill weed
- 1/2-3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese, such as Danish or buttermilk blue
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or less if your cheese is very salty
Whisk together the first 5 ingredients until smooth. Stir in the crumbled cheese with a spoon. Taste and add salt, as needed.
Side dish or dessert? Side dish or dessert? You’d think with only two choices, making one would be easy, but whenever I hear that option, my head starts swimming with all the possible dishes I could make. First, I lean toward dessert, because within the narrow confines of my family I am known for some pretty good ones, whether elaborate or simple. But then I start panicking about all the possible things that can go wrong, most of them having to do with accidental burning or insufficient rising, overworked crusts or underbaked centers, or missed ingredients—in a dessert, the littlest thing turns into a disaster.
The dessert disaster scenario takes only seconds and I start thinking about side dishes. Now, that’s a gigantic category encompassing appetizers, salads, vegetables, each one of those its own abyss. I’ll have to admit that what first popped into my head was a corn-black bean-mango salsa, but did I want to bring chips or turn it into a pasta salad? Not really. I quickly fell back on the old standby macaroni salad because it’s easy to make and hard to ruin, but with visions of seeing 12 different bowls of the stuff, I had to figure out how to make mine stand out or at least compete well with the others so as not to be faced with taking home the only untouched dish.
A quick trip around the web showed me the right dressing to go with the bacon, so I’m taking Bacon Ranch Macaroni Salad with homemade ranch dressing.
Some color and flavor
Chop bacon after cooking
Continue reading What to Bring to the Summer Get Together