Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Sturgeon Whisperer - Sturgeon alla Dad

As I promised, in yesterdays post, here is a simple yet delicious way to prepare that lovely fresh white sturgeon. It's the way that my dad (the Sturgeon Whisperer) has always done it as far back as I can remember. The flavor of the sturgeon really shines through as the ingredient list is kept to a minimum.

The key is finding the right lemon pepper. Read the ingredient list carefully for all Lemon Pepper is not created equal. Even the Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper that I use on my sea scallops contains a myriad of unnecessary ingredients to be honest. But, it all seems to work with the Saffron Sauce I lavish upon them.

Sturgeon truly benefits from simplicity, in my humble opinion. Thus it is imperative that your lemon pepper contain nothing much more than Lemon Rind and Black Pepper. Maybe a little onion, lemon oil or salt, but those should be at the end of the ingredient list. No cumin, thyme, rosemary, turmeric, coriander, celery seed, carrot powder, or a partridge in a pear tree.

If you are worried about your dinner not being "exciting" enough, simply serve with a Meyer Lemon Risotto and some Oven Roasted Asparagus and you'll be good to go. You will have more flavor components on the plate, yet keep the sturgeon in as pristine a condition as possible.

This recipe is for 6 slices off of the fillet, basically enough for 3 people at 2 slices each. Feel free to scale it up as needed.

Sturgeon alla Dad

3/4 cup Lightly Salted Saltine Crackers, crushed (You may use Panko, slightly crushed, but toss it with a pinch of salt)
1 Large Egg
1 tsp Water
1/2 tsp Lemon Pepper
6 Slices of White Sturgeon Fillet
1-2 TB Olive Oil

Crush the saltine crackers in a zip lock bag.

Whisk the Egg with Water and Lemon Pepper.

Set up your dredging station.

Dip each slice of fillet in the egg mixture.

Be sure to allow the excess to drip off for about 10-20 seconds.

Lay the fillet in the crushed Saltine crumbs, tossing to coat.

Set on a plate and repeat with the remaining slices.

Heat 1 TB Olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.

Heat oven to it's lowest setting, 150-175 degrees.
Lay the fish in the hot oil and "saute" until golden before turning; about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes depending on the size of your fish (I am saying saute, cause you are not using enough oil to "fry" the fish)

When the second side is golden,

remove the fish from the skillet and place on a rimmed sheet pan, then move to the preheated oven to keep it warm for up to 15 minutes while completing the remainder of your meal.

Serve with Lemon Risotto, or better yet Meyer Lemon Risotto and Oven Roasted Asparagus.

Simple, Elegant, Delicious! Fresh fish at it's best.



Patti T. said...

This is the second day in a row I have seen a reference to Meyer Lemons. Wish I could find a local source for them. Your fish looks delicious and of course the rest of the meal also. Does the sturgeon have a mild flavor?

DDpie said...

Nice, I'm like Patti, I've never tasted sturgeon so I'm curious as to the flavor. But I absolutely LOVE that you kept it simple and let the flavor of the fish thru. Awesome dude! I can't wait to go fishin' with my bros this summer!

matt74 said...

Looks great as always Shane!..love the simplicity of the lemon pepper..so is the taste really clean and light?..I almost took a job in Hazel Dell about 15 years ago..loved the area up there so dam green!

Bob said...

Looks fantastic! I've had really bad luck with bottled lemon pepper, I need to do some research.

Culinary Alchemist said...

Patti & DD - Thanks guys! Sturgeon is REALLY mild, but the texture is a little firmer than most fish, almost chicken-esque.

Matt - Thanks you.. The Lemon isn't really discernible as a flavor, but your right, it does make the fish taste clean, it also adds a little scent to the fish, which is nice.

Bob - Thanks man! I have resorted to mixing my own Lemon Pepper on several occasions, but I am out of Lemon oil at the moment. My current favorite is the Trader Joe's brand.

Danielle said...

oooh...saltines... what a great idea!!! I would almost suffer the consequence and eat a whoooole bunch of this! YUM!!!