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Nordic pike pearch from my lake

I have fallen in love with pike-perch. And because my cabin is near a big lake called Ringsjön in the south of Sweden (Skåne), I can easily get fresh pike-perch from our lake. But not always.

So the other week I bought two pike-perch directly from the fisherman. They were huge!
And it didn´t strike me until I got home, that the slimy fishes that lay on the bench and stared at me, were not peeled nor gutted ….

So I found a way to do it, using my grater, peeling the fish under water in my sink. I peeled and peeled (hard work) and the sink got full of little white scales. So did the walls, the bench and myself, since the fish were big giants that  could hardly fit in the sink.
Then it was the removal of the guts…It was a “first” for me and not a lovely experience at all, but quite instructive to see what’s inside a fish …and a chef has to know everything there is about the produce he or she uses, I think.
It took some time to prepare and filleting the fish, but in the end it was a lovely wild fish dinner inspired by the forest and lake outside my window.

4 people
50 minutes

approximately 640 g fresh pike-perch
salt flakes
butter to fry in
500 g baby spinach (or Ground elder when weeds season)
butter to fry in
salt flakes
1 cup hazelnuts (you are allergic to nuts, try sunflower seeds instead)
about 5 cups fresh mushrooms (you can also use dried)
butter to fry the chanterelles in
salt flakes

about 100 g of butter to brown
1 lemon into four wedges

1.Cut the fillets into four equal pieces. Sprinkle salt flakes on both sides and let the fish rest in salt for about half an hour. It´s called “rimma” in swedich. Wipe off excess salt.
2. Rinse and clean the spinach. Cut away all the stalks and cook the leaves in butter in a saucepan. Season with salt.
3. Coarsely chop the hazelnuts and toast them in a dry, hot pan. Stir constantly so they don´t burn. Put them in a towel and rub off the skins.
4. Clean the chanterelles. Tear them into pieces and fry them in a dry, hot pan so that all liquid disappears. Add a knob of butter and fry until you get a nice color. Season with salt flakes.
5. Let the butter melt in a saucepan over medium heat until it starts to get a nice brown tint and smells a bit nutty. Remove from heat.
6. Brown the butter in a frying pan and fry the fish for about two minutes on each side. Baste with butter while you cook. When the fish will slice up and be a little translucent in the middle, then it is perfect. Calc approximately 113 degrees Fahrenheit (45 degrees Celsius) core temperature.

Love from

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Pernilla Elmquist

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