Savor the Season: Citizen Cafe chef pairs walleye, morels


Now while "walleye" and "mousse" don't readily sound like a match made in heaven, Citizen Cafe Chef Michael MacKay marries the native Minnesota fish with with cream, dill, and shallots to make one of his favorite recipes, a filling for local wild morels. "I first made it ten years ago at my friends' cabin with morels we hunted and fish we caught," MacKay says. "It always bring back great memories."

It's a great time of year for the dish, with morels popping up around town now and fishing season getting underway. Chef MacKay recently shared the recipe with Hot Dish, which he usually prepares as an appetizer but says can also serve as an entree.

Recipe after the jump.

Wild Morels Stuffed With Walleye Mousse

Serves up to four as an appetizer.

8 med-large fresh morels (check farmers' markets and co-ops) 1/2 lb. fresh walleye (MacKay suggests Coastal Seafoods) 1/2 c. heavy cream 2 egg whites 1 Tb. minced shallot Splash of dry vermouth (whatever you have around) 1 tsp. chopped fresh dill A bunch/head of your favorite greens (MacKay likes Bibb lettuce) Flour, for rolling morels in 4 Tb. clarified butter or canola oil (or more, as needed) Salt and pepper to taste


Season the walleye with salt and pepper and saute in a couple tablespoons of butter or oil. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until fish is firm to the touch. Remove fish and set aside.

In the same pan, sweat the shallots on medium-low heat till cooked (not brown). Then deglaze the pan with a splash of vermouth and simmer for 1-2 minutes. Next, add cream and simmer until reduced by half. Remove pan from heat and let it rest.

While fish and cream are cooling, whip egg whites in a mixing bowl until they make a soft peak. Then crumble the cooled fish into the cooled cream/shallot mixture. Add dill and lightly fold the fish and cream mixture with the whipped whites. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Rinse morels and pipe the mousse into them, around the stems. (To get the mousse into the morels, MacKay cuts a corner off a Ziploc bag and uses it like a pastry bag.) Now, roll the stuffed morels in flour. Shake off excess. In a saute pan, brown the morels on all sides in clarified butter or canola oil over medium heat.

Serve on a bed of greens. Enjoy!