Minnesota walleye is flakey, meaty and has a creamy texture that pairs wonderfully with a light crunch from the cornmeal crust. The acidity and freshness of the white wine, tomato and peas really keep this dish bright, while the pancetta adds a sense of umami and depth of flavor to round out the dish, making your jaw tingle with happiness.
2-6oz Walleye fillet, deboned
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup organic cornmeal
2T grapeseed oil
1T butter, unsalted
1/4lb Red Table Meat Co. Pancetta, rinsed and skin removed then cut into lardons
1/2 head Cauliflower, broken down into bite size florets
1/2 c sweet peas, blanched
1/4 c Heirloom tomato, concassée
1 clove garlic, sliced thin
1/4c dry white wine
-Preheat oven to 350f.
-Submerge walleye in buttermilk for 20mins-1hr.
-Place Pancetta and cauliflower into a medium *stainless steel sauté pan on medium/low heat to start rendering pancetta and caramelizing cauliflower, stir every few minutes.
-In a mixing bowl place cornmeal, paprika and a pinch of salt and mix thoroughly.
-After walleye has been in buttermilk for desired time, remove and season with sea salt and black pepper. Roll walleye in cornmeal mixture until fully coated.
-Heat a *stainless steel sauté pan to medium heat, add grapeseed oil and butter. Once butter has melted (but not browned) place walleye pieces into pan. The cornmeal may soak up some of the oil and butter here, don’t be afraid to add a little more. If the pan is too hot or dry, it will burn the cornmeal.
-Place into oven for 5 minutes.
- While walleye is in the oven and pancetta is at desired crispiness, add garlic and tomato to pan for 2mins then deglaze with the white wine. Let this liquid reduce to sec and add peas. Warm peas through and turn off heat.
-Remove walleye from oven, gently flip walleye pieces over and brown other side of cornmeal, about 2 minutes.
-Remove the walleye from the pan once fish is fully cooked and has become tender, place onto paper towels to remove any excess oil.
- Place pancetta veggies onto plate and serve with walleye.
*I recommend using stainless steel here because the acidity from the tomato and white wine can react and corrode aluminum or Teflon, causing it to be in the food, which is toxic.