Chef Paul Virant of Vie restaurant in Western Springs is also a fan of Great Lakes fish. He has graciously allowed me to reprint the following recipe that uses whitefish. Note, I have not tried the recipe itself. All I can say is first, it sounds great, second, it looks complicated!
POACHED WHITEFISH, BRAISED SAUERKRAUT,
LITTLENECK CLAMS, SHALLOT AND DILL VINAIGRETTE
2 C sauerkraut, rinsed in cold water
1/4 C diced bacon
4 T butter
1 onion, sliced
2 ribs celery, peeled and sliced on a bias
1 t each coriander seed, dill seed, fennel seed, caraway seed, toasted and coarsely ground
1 C riesling (preferably Alsatian)
1 C chicken stock
salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a heavy bottom wide saucepan render the bacon until crisp, about 5 minutes.
3. Add 2 T of the butter, onions, celery, and toasted seeds.
4. Sweat for 5 minutes.
5. Add the rinsed sauerkraut and wine, bring up to a boil.
6. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil
7. Cover with a parchment paper lid and place in oven.
8. Bake for 45 minutes.
9. Remove from oven and keep warm (there will be extra).
1/2 lb littleneck clams
2 T minced shallots
1/4 C champagne vinegar
1 t honey
1/2 C olive oil
2 T chopped dill
salt and pepper
1. Cook the clams with 1/4 C of water in a covered saucepan for 2-4 minutes (or until the clams open).
2. Remove clams from shells and strain liquid (if any) into a mixing bowl.
3. Add shallots, honey and vinegar to the mixing bowl.
4. Whisk in the olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
5. Add chopped dill and clams and reserve.
4 3oz portions of whitefish
1 qt rendered duck fat or chicken fat
1/4 C dill sprigs, loosely packed
2 T julienne house made pickles
1 T olive oil
1. Season the fish with salt and warm the duck or chicken fat to 150 F in heavy bottom saucepan.
2. Place the fish in the fat submerged.
3. Poach between 10 and 15 minutes in the fat until firm, remove from heat.
4. Heat up the sauerkraut finish with remaining 2 T butter.
5. Place about 1/2 C sauerkraut on the center of 4 warm plates.
6. Place poached fish on top.
7. Spoon about 1T vinaigrette on each plate with 3 clams.
8. Garnish with salad of dill sprigs and pickles tossed with olive oil.
9. Serve and enjoy!