by Wayne Phillips
|Ingredients for four servings:
Baking a fish with stuffing may seem unusual, but relax because the results are wonderful. Using fresh bread cubes instead of dry ones helps keep the fish moist and prevents it from drying out. The use of lemon zest adds flavor not only to the stuffing, but to the fish as well. You can also use lime or orange zest or a combination of all three. Remember, the moister the stuffing, the moister the fish.
Who can resist a moist, flavorful walleye crammed with an aromatic stuffing?
Scale the walleye and remove the dorsal fin. Remove the entrails and head. Make a few slashes on the sides to prevent the fish from curling during cooking.
For the stuffing, saute the onion, mushrooms and celery in the oil until nearly soft. Add the bread crumbs and cook for a minute or two. Place in a bowl, season with tarragon, lemon zest, salt and pepper, and allow to cool.
Salt and pepper the fish inside. Place in a baking dish and spoon the stuffing inside the fish. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the fish and bake in a 350-degree oven until cooked through, about 10 minutes per inch of thickness.
Serving each person a whole fish is wonderful. Surround the walleye with a mixture of stir-fried red and yellow peppers. Creamy mashed potatoes also complement the sweet, mild-flavored walleye. Serve extra stuffing on the side.
If you have a favorite stuffing recipe for chicken or turkey, you can use it. Take care to use milder herbs like dill, tarragon or basil because walleye has a delicate flavor. Save the more aggressive seasonings for stronger-flavored fish.
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November/December 1999 Angler & Boater
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