Pan-Roasted Ontario Pickerel

Automne 2011
food and drink

BY: Monda Rosenberg

“Sweet, mild, tender…” are just a few of the attributes that have won pickerel bragging rights as our best-tasting freshwater fish. In this recipe, as the fillets oven roast, their butter-basting sauce browns to a fragrant nutty flavour that enhances the creaminess of the fish. When the weather cools down, Sherwood Inn’s chef, Matthew Toni, serves the pickerel on a fresh-tomato-and-white-bean ragu medley with a generous drizzling of Salsa Verde Sauce.

2 pickerel fillets with skin on, about 8 oz (250 g) each Maldon salt and ground white pepper
1 tbsp (15 mL) canola oil
2 tbsp (30 mL) cold butter, cut in 4 pieces
2 ripe but firm tomatoes
½ cup (125 mL) frozen green peas
2 cups (500 mL) Slow-Baked White Bean Ragu (see recipe)
¼ cup (60 mL) Salsa Verde Sauce (see recipe)
Micro sprouts for garnish

1 Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

2 Generously season both sides of the pickerel with salt and pepper. Slice in half crosswise. Heat a wide ovenproof skillet over medium -high heat. Add oil and swirl to coat. Place fish, skin-side down, in pan. Turn heat down to medium. Cook 1 minute. Then add the cold butter to pan and move around until it melts. Tilt pan and baste fish with butter oil mixture.

3 Move skillet to the oven and bake fish until juices start to appear on the top. Depending on thickness of fillets, this will take 10 to 15 minutes. Baste several times with the butter mixture in pan. Do not turn fish. Remove pan from oven.

4 While fish is cooking, remove and discard seeds from tomatoes. Dice tomatoes and place in a medium-size saucepan with peas. Heat over medium, stirring often, until peas are hot. Ladle in bean ragu and stir gently to heat. Do not let it boil. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Spoon onto 2 serving plates. Using a wide metal spatula, carefully lift fish from pan and place on top of beans. Drizzle or dot with salsa verde and garnish with sprouts.

Serves 2

What to Serve