On that day, a friend from work and I went out to Calamus Reservoir on a cloudy, misty afternoon. After only a few minutes of trolling on the water, our lines started zipping left and right. It was insane! We didn't even have to employ the fish call... ha-ha. We weren't out there for long, but my arm was getting plenty sore from all that reeling.
We threw back more than we kept. At the end of the day, I came back with a nice stringer of walleye and white bass, more than enough for one person to eat. Now that I have all this fish in my freezer, along with all the fish Rick's cousins like to give me when I go to visit them, it's often a challenge to think of new ways to cook it. I don't know why, but I'm not as creative with fish as I am with red meat.
Deep frying fish is very popular in Nebraska. In fact, it's the only way I've ever seen people cook it here... And it's no wonder, because it's super good and you can't go wrong with it. But living on my own, I don't want to go through the hassle of using all that oil for just a small serving of fish. I do like to coat it with Louisiana Fish fry and pan fry it with just a little oil, but that can get old.
So here is a quick, but different way to cook walleye. The roasted cherry tomatoes add a sweet and refreshing element to the dish, while pan searing the fish in butter gives it a beautiful golden color. I hope you give this a try. Enjoy!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 20-30 minutes
- 4 walleye fillets
- salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 2-3 tbs. of butter
- 1 package of cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbs. of olive oil
- splash of balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbs. of brown sugar, packed
- pinch of dried thyme (fresh is better if you have it... same goes for basil)
- pinch of dried basil
- red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
- lemon wedges, for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a baking dish or rimmed cookie sheet, combine tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, thyme, basil, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until tomatoes start to caramelize.
2. Check walleye fillets for bones. Rinse under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.
3. Over medium-high heat, heat a skillet until it sizzles when you sprinkle water in it. Then add butter and wait until it's melted and just turning a golden, hazelnut color. Add fish and sear on both sides for 1-2 minutes or until fully cooked and flaky.
Do not overcrowd pan.
Serve fish with your favorite side dishes and garnish with lemon wedges. Spoon roasted tomatoes and its juices over the fish. Serve immediately.