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[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Read the title of this post and you could be forgiven for yawning, slightly, even if you recognize the brilliant simplicity of a wine-shallot sauce. Take a look at the picture, however, and you can see that something else is going on. This recipe Ruhlman's Twenty also works in a beurre maniƩ, a kneaded butter and flour mixture that thickens up the sauce and lends the white and creamy color. Sure, I've made a roux or two in my day, but I've never tried this technique before.

I worried that the sauce would have an uncooked flour profile, but that's not the case. Instead, the sauce is silky and smooth, sticking to the fish in a really elegant way. Thanks to the lemon juice and wine, the sauce helps perk up the flavor of the fish without holding it down.

Why I Picked This Recipe: Over the years, I've grown to appreciate fresh walleye from Canada. But honestly I was mostly intrigued to see how this sauce would work. Though not difficult, this kind of French-inspired dish is not something I cook often. I looked forward to the challenge.

What Worked: Of course, the fish is carefully cared for here, and walleye is one delicious fish. I suppose the best thing I could say is that the tart and creamy sauce doesn't try to cover up the flavor of the fish. Instead, it just accents it in a very delicate way.

What Didn't: It's a very light meal, but that's the point. Everything here worked as directed.

Suggested Tweaks: If you can't track down walleye, Ruhlman also recommends grouper, snapper, and halibut. You can serve this with whatever you'd like, but Ruhlman's cauliflower recipe in the same book—which takes a while and uses more butter than you can probably imagine—is definitely worth trying at least once.

About the author: Nick Kindelsperger is the editor of Serious Eats: Chicago. He loves tacos and spicy food. You can follow him as @nickdk on Twitter.

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