Well, there is no question what the highlight of the Mid-Canada Boat Show this past weekend was for me: It was participating in the Generation Next Angler (GNA) Celebrity Cook-off.
The event was the brainchild of KingFisher Boats’ Andrew Klopak and Michelle Trudeau, who teamed up with the good folks at Cabela’s Canada, Yamaha, Alumacraft, KingFisher, Guertin Equipment, WSL Kenora, MinnKota, Shorelunch, Copper Moon, Firecracker Fire Pits, Netley Millwork, and Hooked Magazine to put on an amazing display.
Twice each day, during the four days of the Show, two KingFisher and Alumacraft pro staffers went nose-to-nose cooking up their favourite walleye recipes for the panel of judges.
One of the celebrity chefs would prepare a typical shorelunch on one side of the room (you wouldn’t believe how realistic it was, right down to the green Astro turf and wood chips on the floor and the Firecracker Fire Pit) while the other chef prepared a slightly more formal walleye dish at the other side of the room in the gorgeous kitchen set up by Hardy and his crew from Netley Millworks.
At the end of the four days of competition, the results were tabulated and were so close the judges had to double check their scorecards. In the end, I was flattered, shocked, and totally humbled to win!
I cooked up a special Mediterranean Walleye recipe that is not only “out of this world” in terms of taste, but being part of the famous Mediterranean diet, is healthy and nutritious to boot. And, it’s simple to prepare.
In fact, so many nice folks came up after each cook-off and requested the recipe that I promised I’d post it here.
Gord’s Mediterranean Walleye Supreme
1 lb. fresh boneless, skinless, walleye filets
handful of green olives stuffed with garlic cut into small pieces
handful of black olives cut into small pieces
handful of sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil cut into small pieces
handful of feta cheese
fresh tomato slices
Pinot Grigio white wine
salt and pepper
Wash and thoroughly dry the walleye filets between paper towel before laying them on the bottom of a casserole or glass baking dish. Salt and pepper the fish to taste. Add a splash of white wine. Sprinkle the green olives, black olives and sundried tomato over the fish. Sprinkle on the feta cheese. Finally, cover everything with a layer of tomato slices. Pop it into a pre-heated oven, set at 400 F and cook for approximately 20 minutes. When it is time to serve, squeeze the juice from half of the fresh lemon over the steaming fish. Serves two generously.
By the way, while you’re waiting for the fish to cook, prepare this similarly amazing avocado and grapefruit salad with lime vinaigrette. It complements the baked walleye perfectly and makes a meal fit for a king—or queen.
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 Tbsp. liquid honey
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. dry mustard
1/8 cup sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
1 head red leaf lettuce
2 avocados, sliced into 1″ pieces
1 large red grapefruit peeled and pith removed. Separate the pieces with your fingers
Pour lime juice, pepper flakes, dry mustard, and sugar in a blender and whirl together. Slowly blend in the oil, salt and pepper. Place the lettuce, grapefruit and avocado in a salad bowl, add the vinaigrette and toss it all together.