The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree…and Fried Walleye
I first posted this last year, but the story and pics make me so happy, I’m pulling it up again for today. Happy Father’s Day! – Stephanie
I sent my dad an email telling him to check out my buttermilk pancake post and wishing him Happy Father’s Day. This is what he wrote back:
I just got back from Canada last night. We were fishing on Keefe Lake, which is in northern Saskatchewan, about 1,200 miles north of Sheridan. We drove my pickup to Laronge and then flew the last 200 miles. We had two shore lunches in the five days of fishing: The guide takes a large steel frying pan with high sides and fills it with canola oil, then sets it over an open camp fire. When it’s very hot, he dumps in frozen french fries. When the french fries are starting to brown, he drops in onion rings. After two or three batches, he starts frying the fish. The fish are walleye, caught that morning and cleaned while still flopping. Each fillet is rolled in flour, then dipped in beaten egg, then rolled in potato buds, and then dropped into the very hot oil. They are fried until they “look pretty”. Meanwhile, canned baked beans are heating next to the fire. Everyone grabs a plate and the feast is on while the guide continues to fry fish until everyone is stuffed. All of this is best accompanied by cold beer. Dessert is canned peaches with egg coffee.
I loved this email. I laughed. My mouth watered.
I thought of my Grandpa Meyer (my dad’s dad, who was a walleye fisherman extraordinaire, above). I thought of my Grandma Meyer (who fried all that walleye – dredged in flour, fried in butter – until we all got full).
I got a tear in my eye.
I marveled that my dad drove 1,000 miles before his short flight. (He lives in Sheridan, Wyoming.) He, my stepmom Susanna, and my sister Stacey embrace a long drive. I…do not.
I thought about how my dad is a true Renaissance Man: Lawyer, serious hunter/fisherman/outdoorsman/horseman, history expert, dog whisperer, nightmare debater, incredible cook, our family’s storyteller, father of four.
I thought about how much I love my family for loving real, good food. I thought about how much I hope I’m passing this love on to my son.
And then I decided to fry up some walleye. I’d never heard of dredging fish with potato buds before (see dredged in flour, fried in butter, above), so I decided to give the guide’s technique a try, since I assume the man knows how to fry up some fish. It was completely delicious, a light as air crust around moist fish (similar in effect to panko crumbs).
All of this is best accompanied by cold beer. Yeah.
Shore Lunch Fried Walleye
Serves 4 (except in my family, where this would barely serve 2)
1 lb. walleye fillets
1 egg + 1 Tbsp. water
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. flour, on a plate
1 1/2 c. instant mashed potato flakes or panko crumbs, on a plate
peanut oil or other oil for high heat frying
Fill a wok 1/3 full of oil and set over medium high heat. While oil heats, beat egg, 1 Tbsp. of water, and 1 tsp. of salt in a pie plate. Line up the egg, flour, and potato flakes. When oil is hot, dip both sides of walleye fillets in flour, then egg, then potato flakes, then transfer the fillet to the hot oil. Fry fillet, turning once, until fish is nicely golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with other fillets and serve immediately.
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