Shared Plates: August 2017 Contest Winner
On the weekends, we treasure family adventures to the local farmers market picking up locally sourced fresh goodies, talking to the growers, and learning about our food. We especially look forward to what the owner of Mackinac Fish Market recently caught.
On this particular day, we spotted freshly caught lake perch. For the fish, we enjoy keeping the recipe quite simple with a light breading so as to not overpower the delicate nature of the perch. Roasted asparagus adds a great visual to the plate and complements the fish well. The twist on the tartar sauce comes by adding a light and refreshing flavor combined with a little tang and smooth texture from the Greek yogurt.
This recipe is pretty easy to prepare and is perfect for dining al fresco on a hot Michigan summer day. Don’t forget to pair with a crisp white wine such as a pinot gris. Enjoy!
Fresh Lake Perch with Roasted Asparagus, Potatoes & Greek Yogurt Tartar Sauce
1 bunch fresh asparagus, trimmed
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided (plus more for sautéing the perch)
3 teaspoons lemon zest, divided
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
Salt and pepper
½ pound baby potatoes
4 tablespoon unsalted butter (1/2 stick), divided
1 cup Greek yogurt (use a thick Greek yogurt, like Fage)
1 ½ tablespoon whole grain Dijon mustard
Juice of half a lime
¼ teaspoon fresh dill, finely chopped, plus more for garnish
Tabasco sauce (a dash or two)
3 cups breadcrumbs
Splash of whole milk
2 cups flour
2 pounds fresh lake perch
For the asparagus:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Arrange asparagus on the sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Spread 1 teaspoon lemon zest along with 1 teaspoon crushed garlic over the asparagus, and season with salt and pepper.
Place on the middle rack and let roast for about 20 minutes until slightly softened yet still crispy with lightly browned edges. Remove and let rest.
For the baby potatoes:
In a small pot over medium heat, add baby potatoes, 2 tablespoons of butter, and a dash of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with and cook for about 15 minutes, or until potatoes have softened, stirring occasionally.
For the Greek yogurt tartar sauce:
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the yogurt, whole grain Dijon mustard, lime juice, finely chopped dill, and a small dash of Tabasco sauce. Mix until smooth.
For the perch:
Prep the breadcrumbs and egg wash. Add lemon zest and dash of salt and pepper to breadcrumbs in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag. For the egg wash, whisk together 2 eggs, a splash of milk, and a dash of Tabasco sauce in a medium-sized bowl.
Add 2 cups of flour to a second gallon-sized Ziploc bag. Add perch a few pieces at a time to coat with flour (shake the bag lightly). Remove perch and dip in the egg wash, then remove and add to the bag of breadcrumbs (again shake lightly).
Set pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of butter, and a little salt and pepper. When oil and butter has hit medium heat, it will sizzle with a tiny drop of water. Add the perch to the pan sautéing on each side until lightly brown, about 3 minutes per side (do not overfill the pan). Repeat the process working in batches and adding olive oil as necessary to the pan.
Plate the perch, asparagus, and baby potatoes. Garnish with reserved freshly chopped dill and lemon wedges. Serve with the Greek yogurt tartar sauce on the side.