I'm a big fan of fish, especially in the summer. And although it doesn't feel like summer in Chicago right now with constant rain and chilly temps, I needed a lighter meal and a break from the barbecue last night. Usually, I default to salmon when I want to make fish, just because it's so easy, but I got a bit more adventurous last night and brought home walleye pike. A quick pan fry in butter and the sweet, flavorful fish was ready to go.
I know a lot of people are hesitant to make fish on their stovetop for fear of the house smelling "fishy," but walleye pike is so light and un-fishy, it really wasn't an issue. Then again, I come from a family that smokes kippers on New Year's day, so fishiness is not really a main concern.
But last night's dinner was anything but fishy. I chopped up pecans in the Cuisinart until they were fine, but not pasty, and put them in a shallow dish. Then I dipped the fish in milk, then the pecans and then stuck them in the pan. In 15 minutes they were golden-brown and ready to eat. Walleye pike is an excellent fish to cook because it is so flavorful to begin with, it doesn't need much help. It will always make you look good. The pecans added just enough texture to offset the flaky fish for the perfect combo.
Pecan-Crusted Walleye Pike
4 pieces walleye pike
3/4 C. pecans, chopped fine
Chop pecans in a food processor and place in a shallow dish. In another dish, pour enough milk to dip the fish. Melt a generous amount of butter in a fry pan. Dip fish in milk and pecans and then lay in pan. Repeat with all pieces of fish. Pat extra pecans onto fish while in pan. Flip after 5-7 minutes or until brown. Cook on other side until done. Can be served with tartar sauce (but it doesn't need it!).