Walleye and Wild Rice

This morning, a friend at the gym, Roger Peterson, asked about how to cook trout. It seems someone gave him a rainbow — with head attached — and he was at a loss at what to do with it after his wife made queries about how to fix it.

I told him it was OK to cook the fish the way it was (with head on) and offered a couple of recipe suggestions.

He also told me about all of the walleye he had, and I suggested a walleye wild rice soup. Earlier this week, our outdoor editor, Brad Dokken, forwarded a recipe he received from www.winkelman.com for the soup. It looked delicious, and I thought my friend might like to try it. According to the folks at Winkelman, the soup is easy to freeze, too.

For those of you who would like to make the soup, here is the recipe, along with another for Wild Rice Crusted Walleye.

Walleye Wild Rice Soup
1 6-ounce box long grain and wild rice soup mix
1/3 cup flour
4 cups milk
1½ tablespoonsp butter
1 small onion (chopped)
16 ounces clam juice
1 cup heavy cream
1½ cups walleye filet cut into pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare rice soup according to directions on box. Meanwhile, stir together flour, salt pepper and a ½ cup milk until smooth, set aside. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook until tender. Increase heat to medium and stir in clam juice, cream and remaining milk; heat to a boil. Add flour mixture stirring constantly. Let boil 1 minute. Add fish pieces and rice soup mixture cook until fish flakes.

Wild Rice Crusted Walleye
¼ cup oil (canola is preferred)
1 cup wild rice, hand-harvested and hand-parched
1 cup flour
Salt and pepper to taste
1 to 6 walleye fillets
3 tablespoons butter
Heat oil in a medium saute pan on medium heat (350 degrees). When the oil is hot, throw the wild rice in the oil and watch as it pops and roasts. Keep moving the rice in the pan to prevent burning. (Cultivated wild rice won’t pop; if using it, be especially careful that it doesn’t burn). Once all the rice has popped, within 2 to 3 minutes, lay the rice on paper towels to absorb some of the oil.
After the rice has cooled, put it in a coffee grinder and grind it to a fine paste or powder. Mix regular flour with salt and pepper. Add wild rice paste to flour mixture and blend.
Lightly coat each walleye fillet in the breading. Saute the walleye with clarified butter (slowly melted and the top foam removed) until golden brown.