Recipe: Summery Sturgeon

“Sturgeon was once abundant in the Great Lakes region,” says TIM CIKRA, executive chef at the Franklin Grill & Tavern in Franklin. “Shortly after I arrived in Michigan 25 years ago, it so happened that I befriended the last commercial sturgeon fisherman in Lake St. Clair. He would arrive with the whole fish wrapped in newspapers. When he unrolled the fish on the counter, it was magnificent. Today’s sturgeon is farm-raised, which creates a sense of sustainability.” Cikra plans to have sturgeon on the Franklin Grill menu this spring and summer from time to time.

Pan-seared Sturgeon, Roasted Corn, Fingerling Potatoes, and Garden Herbs with Chardonnay Leek Sauce

(Serves 4)
Photograph by Joe Vaughn

3/4 pound fingerling potatoes

1 tablespoon dried thyme

2/3 cup olive oil (divided*)

4 small ears of corn (3* shucked, 1 quartered)

5 leeks (divided*), root end removed (also all but 1/2-inch of the green removed). Cut in half lengthwise, rinse between the layers, and dry.

4  6-ounce sturgeon fillets (skin removed)

2/3 cup chardonnay

4 ounces unsalted butter

3/4 ounce fresh-cut tarragon

3/4 ounce fresh-cut chives

Kosher salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400.


Toss potatoes with 1 tablespoon kosher salt, thyme, and 2 tablespoons* olive oil. Bake 40 minutes, until tender. Keep warm.

Increase heat to 500.

Coat corn and 4* leeks with 2* tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons salt, and fresh pepper, and roast 25 minutes at 500. Remove from oven and tent with foil for 10 minutes.

Remove corn from 3* ears and cut remaining ear into quarters, lengthwise, for garnish. Cut remaining* leek into 1/4-inch half moons.

Season fish with salt and pepper. Heat remaining olive oil* in skillet. Cook fish skin side up 5 minutes over medium-high heat. Add cut leeks and turn fish.

Add wine; simmer gently until fish is firm. Remove fish and cook until wine is almost gone. Add butter and stir over low heat until incorporated. Then add corn removed from cob and herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Serve sauce over fish with roasted fingerlings, leeks, and quartered-corn garnish.

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