Asparagus and Crab Stuffed Walleye

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Asparagus and Crab Stuffed Walleye served with a Green Bean and Radish Salad.

I like dinners that are elegant and look like you spent a lot of time preparing but actually come together quite easily and quickly. My Asparagus and Crab Stuffed Walleye is one of those meals. This entrée would be met with oohs and aahs if served at a dinner party.

I prepared this with fresh walleye however any mild tasting white fish would work well with it. What ever fish you choose, just be sure that the flavor of the fish compliments the boldness and doesn’t muddle the flavor of the crab. It pains me to say this, as I have a general dislike of the fish, but Tilapia would be a good choice for this. I like to describe Tilapia as the true chicken of the sea: bland, boring, and over farmed. I chose walleye because I believe the mild, somewhat sweet flavor works well with the crab.

Here is what I did:

Asparagus and Crab Stuffed Walleye

Ingredients

Fish
2 Walleye fillets or other white fish, skin removed
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 Cup shallot, minced
2 Cloves garlic, minced
6 ounces crab lump crab meat (pouch or canned is suitable)
1/4 Cup ricotta cheese (whole milk)
1 Teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
3 Tablespoons chives, chopped
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
6 spears asparagus trimmed just a little wider than width of fillet

Lemon Butter Sauce
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter (plus a little more for buttering the baking dish)
Juice from one large lemon (Approximately 4 tablespoons)

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Heat olive oil in skillet over medium low heat and gently sautée shallots. Add garlic when shallots are translucent and just beginning to brown. Add crab meat, ricotta, Old Bay Seasoning, chives, salt, and pepper. Stir to fully blend ingredients together. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Lay out fillets on cutting board. Check over for pin bones while patting dry. Divide crab mixture between fillets spreading evenly the whole length of the fish. Place three asparagus spears on the widest end of each fillet. Roll up the fillet beginning with the asparagus end and place the fillet seam down in a lightly buttered glass or ceramic baking dish.

Melt butter. Briefly whisk melted and lemon juice in a small bowl then then drizzle all but about two tablespoons of mixture over fillets. Sprinkle a little Old Bay Seasoning over fillets for color.

Bake crab stuffed fillets for about 20-25 minutes or until they flake easily with fork. It will depend on the size of your fish. Start checking them after 15 minutes if you have smaller fillets.

Boiled Egg, Seared Asparagus, and Pickled Onion Sandwiches

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Asparagus will soon poke its delicious little spears from the cool earth giving us one more sign it’s spring. There are few things I look forward to in spring more than the fresh, herbaceous taste of freshly cut asparagus. Well, maybe morel mushrooms, but that’s another recipe.

I love how this recipes takes advantage of asparagus and eggs pair well. One of my favorite side dishes is grilled asparagus topped with a poached egg. Because of this, I prefer a medium boiled egg with the yolk still slightly soft in the middle; about a 6 minute boil, but feel free to use a harder set yolk.

This recipe uses my Quick Pickled Red Onions. You will need about 10 to 15 minutes of active cooking time and at least 30 minutes of resting time to prepare them. These store wonderfully for about a month in the refrigerator and are great on so many things. The recipe can be found here: Quick Pickled Red Onions.

Boiled Egg, Seared Asparagus, and Pickled Onion Sandwiches

Makes 2 sandwiches

Ingredients

2 eggs, medium or hard boiled (your preference)
2 demi baguette loaves (may use one regular baguette cut in half)
½ a bunch of asparagus spears (about 15-20 spears)
Kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil (approximately, plus more to brush on baguette)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Pickled red onion (see Quick Pickled Red Onions recipe link in above introduction)
Spritz of lemon juice
Fresh dill

Directions

Boil the eggs to your desired preference, peel and set aside.

Meanwhile, split two demi baguettes in half and remove a little of the doughy center so the asparagus and egg can fit inside. (The bread that is removed would be wonderful to toss with a bit of olive oil, kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper then toasted for croutons if you serve a salad with this sandwich.) Brush a little olive oil on each half and toast the bread lightly.

Trim the asparagus by removing the woody ends. Then slice the spears in half length–wise as best you can and place in a large bowl. Drizzle some olive oil over the asparagus and then sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Toss to coat evenly. Heat a large skillet over high heat and sear the asparagus spears, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. The asparagus will become a darker green and should begin to char in spots.

Place ½ of the asparagus on the bottom half of bread then top with one egg and pickled onion. Spread Dijon mustard on top half of bread and then sprinkle with dill. Spritz a little lemon all over the interior of the sandwich. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat for other sandwich and serve with crisp salad.

Chicken Paillards with Asparagus and Lemon, Garlic, and Dill Sauce

I stopped at a farmer’s market for the first time today and picked up some fresh asparagus, one of my favorite spring treats. When I got home I made this quick, easy dish. The chicken has a very light breading and the garlic, lemon, and dill complement the asparagus very well. Here is what I did:

Ingredients

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
3 oz. (2/3 cup) all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup chicken broth
6 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 lemon, zested and squeezed to yield 1 tablespoon zest and 3 tablespoons juice
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 Tbs. chopped fresh dill
2 Tbs. unsalted butter

Directions

Pound each chicken breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to an even thickness; ¼ to ½ inch.

Combine the flour with approximately 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper.

Heat oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat. Dredge the paillards in the flour. Shake off excess flour and place in the skillet. Do not crowd the skillet. Cook two at a time if paillards are too large. Cook about four to six minutes total flipping once half way through. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.

Add the garlic to the skillet and cook over medium-high heat for about a minute or until right before garlic begins to turn color. Add the chicken broth and lemon zest, scraping up any browned bits from the skillet. Next, add the asparagus and nestle the chicken on top of the asparagus. Add any accumulated juice from chicken. Bring to a boil then turn the heat down to maintain a simmer and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the asparagus is tender, five to seven minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter or plates.

Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, dill, and butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the asparagus mixture over the chicken and serve.

Kabobs: A Given on “National Something on a Stick Day”

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Today is National Something on a Stick Day.  National Something on a Stick Day doesn’t necessarily mean food on a stick. It is a day when you simply put something on a stick and display it. However this is a food blog and human beings have been putting all kinds of food on sticks for centuries so naturally I thought of making kabobs.

Tonight I made my Garlic – Rosemary Beef Tenderloin Kabobs with Bacon Wrapped Asparagus. I know this is somewhat of a repeat but it is a recipe that begs to be repeated. I made a slight change in the oil used this time and was very pleased with the results. I have been using walnut oil a lot lately in place of olive oil; especially in situations of higher heat. Walnut oil has a higher smoke point and there for doesn’t give off flavors as quickly. I think it worked very well with this recipe.

Garlic – Rosemary Beef Tenderloin Kabobs

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup walnut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 teaspoons fresh rosemary
  • 1 pound beef tenderloin, trimmed and cut into approximately 1” cubes
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 Onion cut into large chuncks
  • Mushrooms (Your choice. I prefer Baby Bella.)

Instructions

  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large shallow dish or heavy-duty zip-top plastic bag; add beef. Cover or seal, and chill several hours, turning occasionally.
  2. Remove beef from marinade, discarding marinade.
  3. Using bamboo or metal skewers, alternate beef, onion and mushroom.
  4. Sprinkle evenly with pepper, and let stand 30 minutes letting beef come to room temperature.
  5. Grill over medium hot coals 10 to 12 minutes turning frequently to cook all sides and meat is cooked to desired doneness.
  6. Remove the kabobs from the grill and let rest 4 to 5 minutes before serving.

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Ingredients

Bacon
Asparagus (4 to 5 spears per person)

Directions

Wrap one slice of bacon around four to five spears of asparagus per serving. Grill over direct heat turning frequently until bacon is cooked and asparagus is tender; 5 to 10 minutes depending on heat.