Why is it that we tend to think of fish as a time-consuming meal to prepare?
Fish is the original fast food. A fish and fire are all you need to get dinner on the table quickly for the family.
But when the fish is a beautiful fillet of salmon or Lake Erie walleye, it’s a meal worthy of company, too.
This is a great time of year to eat fish, because it is a welcome respite from the heavy calorie-laden holiday fare being served everywhere this month.
Here’s a recipe for pan-roasted walleye that takes less than 10 minutes to prepare from start to finish.
It comes from Chef Ellis Cooley, former executive chef of AMP 150 at the Cleveland Airport Marriott, in the new book by Cleveland author Maria Isabella, In the Kitchen with Cleveland’s Favorite Chefs.
4 (7 oz.) pieces fresh walleye, preferably Lake Erie, deboned
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
With a sharp knife, score a few short parallel slash marks about 1 inch apart just through the skin of the fish down the middle. (Tip: It helps make cutting easier if you carefully apply some pressure along both long sides of the fish toward the middle to puff it up a bit.)
Season both sides of the fish with salt and pepper to taste.
Heat the oil in a saute pan on medium-high heat until it smokes.
Add the fish, skin side down, and reduce the heat to medium. Saute for 3 minutes, or until the skin is crispy.
Turn, preferably using a fish spatula, and cook for another 2 minutes. Take off the heat. Let rest at least 1 minute. Serve warm.
Makes 4 servings.