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Pickerel with Couscous


Chef  Norm Pastorin
The Cornerstone

Manitoba’s favourite fish is sauced with a rich, tart take on meunière. Fried capers and their brine impart a kick of acidity.

4 5-7 oz pickerel fillets
salt and white pepper, to taste
1 cup flour
8 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup white wine
2 cups frozen butter, diced
2 Tbsp lemon juice
4 Tbsp capers, deep fried
4 tsp caper brine
1 radish, sliced
1 chive, cut in 2 inch sticks

4 1/2 cups water
4 cups Israeli pearl couscous
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
4 cups mushrooms, quartered
1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced
1 leek, thinly sliced
4 cups kale, torn into small pieces
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Season both sides of each fillet with salt and white pepper. Dredge fillets in flour, shaking off excess.
2. In a pan over medium high heat, heat olive oil. Sear fillets on both sides, 90 seconds to 2 min per side. Place fillets on sheet pan. Resting fillets will finish cooking on pan.
3. Pour any excess oil from pan. Deglaze pan with white wine, decrease heat to low, and reduce liquid by half, about 3-5 min.
4. Swirling the pan continuously in a circle, add butter a few pieces at a time. Once all butter is melted, finish sauce with lemon juice, caper brine, and salt and pepper.

1. Bring water to a boil. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine boiling water and couscous. Simmer until tender, about 8-10 min.
2. Remove from heat and spread couscous on a baking sheet to cool. For best results, make a day in advance and keep in refrigerator overnight.
3. Heat olive oil and butter in a pan over medium heat. Sauté mushrooms until browned, about 1 min, then add fennel, leeks, and couscous. Sauté for 2 additional minutes.
4. Add kale and season with salt and pepper to taste. To serve, add couscous to plate and gently flatten with a spoon. Place pickerel fillet on top, spread with sauce, and garnish with fried capers, radish, and chives.

Yield 4 servings


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