Walleye with Popcorn Cream Sauce with Potatoes and Spinach

Recipe courtesy of The Craftsman
Show: Chuck's Eat the Street Episode: Minneapolis Melting Pot
TOTAL TIME: 2 hr
Prep: 30 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 1 hr 30 min
 
YIELD: 4 servings
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

POPCORN CREAM SAUCE:
  • 8 cups cream
  • 8 cups light chicken or poultry stock
  • 1/4 cup black peppercorns
  • 4 large shallots, sliced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 1 head garlic, washed and cut in half
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • Salt
  • 4 cups unpopped popcorn
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • Finely ground black pepper
WALLEYE:
  • Four 5 1/2-ounce boneless fillets walleye
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup instant flour, such as Wondra
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup butter, plus more if needed
  • 2 cups cremini mushrooms, halved
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Directions

For the sauce: Combine the cream, stock, peppercorns, shallots, bay leaves, onions, garlic, thyme and some salt in a sauce pot. Bring to a simmer and cook over low until the vegetables are soft, 1 hour. The cream will have reduced by about one-quarter.

Strain the cream mixture through a chinois, adjust the salt, and reserve warm for later use.

Pop the popcorn on the stovetop with the canola oil, or use a popcorn maker.

Fill a blender halfway with the cream mixture. Add the popcorn until the blender cup is full. Blend the mixture until smooth, adding popcorn until you reach the desired thickness. Strain the mixture through a chinois or fine mesh strainer. Repeat for the remaining cream and popcorn. Adjust the seasoning with salt and finely ground pepper. Reserve in a warm place until ready to use.

For the walleye: Sprinkle the fillets on both sides with salt. Sprinkle one side of each fillet with the instant flour until just coated, shaking off any excess flour.

Heat the oil in a skillet until just smoking. Add the fish to the pan, floured-side down, and turn the heat to medium-high. Cook the fish three-quarters of the way through on that side, and then flip. Add the butter to pan and baste. Cook until just before the fish wants to flake apart when pushed.

Saute the mushrooms and potatoes in the same pan, adding more butter if necessary, until golden brown. Add the spinach and cook to wilt. Add 1/2 cup of the popcorn sauce and the parsley to the pan. Adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper and some lemon juice. Arrange the vegetables in 4 large bowls and spoon some more sauce over the vegetables. Top each bowl with the sauteed walleye, then garnish with the parsley and dust with the smoked paprika.

Notes

This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and may have been scaled down from a bulk recipe. The Food Network Kitchens have not tested it for home use and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.

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