For this month’s Create, we called on the talents of Chef Bonner Cameron, co-owner of Bistro Catering & Gourmet Take Away in Bryant, Arkansas.

Photography by Janet Warlick

 

Cameron and partner Crystal Dear are experts at delivering food that is delicious and good-looking. And it’s important to note they take into account that food prepared with fresh ingredients and as naturally as possible is the ideal healthy option.

For this feature, we asked Chef Cameron for recipes using freshwater fish, and he delivered with recipes for trout and walleye, both native to Arkansas.

“Start with fresh fish, and prepare within 48 hours of purchase,” Cameron said. “Also, don’t overcook it. Cook just until it flakes apart.”


 

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Romano Crusted Trout (left) and Pan Seared Walleye with Brown Butter Sauce (right)

Romano Crusted Trout

Ingredients
  • ¾ cup Romano cheese, finely grated
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 green onions, green tops only, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 trout fillets, approximately 6 to 8 ounces each
  • 2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Directions

Whisk together milk and eggs. Separate all-purpose flour, Romano cheese and egg wash into separate containers to make a standard breading station. Wash and pat the fish fillets completely dry with paper towels — removing the moisture ensures they won’t get mushy while cooking. Season generously with salt and pepper. First, dredge fish in the flour, next in the egg wash and lastly in Romano cheese.

Using a nonstick griddle or pan, sear flesh side down first; cook through until fish is firm and flaky, about 6 to 8 minutes on both sides. Remove from grill. Serve each fillet topped with 2 ounces of Bianco Sauce (recipe follows). Garnish with fresh parsley and fresh lemon wedge. Serve immediately.

Bianco Sauce

Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons shallots, finely diced
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ pound butter
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
Directions

Sauté shallots and garlic 2 minutes or until translucent. Deglaze pan with white wine. Simmer and reduce until almost gone. Add heavy cream. Reduce until sauce coats the back of the spoon. Remove from heat, and slowly whisk in butter. Strain through mesh strainer, and add salt and pepper to taste. Lastly, add vinegar.


Pan Seared Walleye with Brown Butter Sauce

Ingredients
  • 4 walleye fillets, about 8 ounces each
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, divided
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Directions

Rinse the walleye fillets in cold water; drain briefly on paper towels. Heat 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle the walleye fillets with salt and pepper; dust lightly with flour and shake off the excess. Place two of the fillets, flesh side down, in the hot butter and cook until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Carefully turn the fillets over and cook for 3 to 5 minutes more, until the fish flakes easily when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Transfer the fillets to a warm platter. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet, and cook the remaining two fillets.

Heat ¼ cup of unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until it begins to foam. Stir constantly until the butter becomes a rich, golden brown color and gives off a nutty aroma, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and slowly stir in the lemon juice. Pour the butter sauce over the walleye fillets and shower with chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

Yields 4 servings.

Optional: top with Lump Crab

Serve with Decorative Couscous

Tips from the chef:

Cameron recommends you serve the trout with fresh asparagus and a nice rice pilaf. Also remember, citrus flavors pair well with both the trout and walleye.

To prepare decorative couscous, he suggests adding: dried cherries, apricots or any dried fruit; pine nuts, pecans or pistachios; and vegetables such as zucchini, peppers, blistered or oven-roasted or oven-dried tomatoes or summer squash.

“To season it, add basil, chives, fresh dill — if you have a garden and/or herb garden, this is a great way to use your harvest,” he added.

To prepare oven-dried tomatoes — “It totally changes the flavor profile,” Cameron said — cut roma tomatoes in quarters, drizzle with olive oil and season with thyme, dried basil, oregano and garlic. Bake in the oven at 250 degrees for 2 to 3 hours. Cameron said using a convection oven really adds to the process; however, you’ll still get a great taste with the use of a regular oven.

If you’d like to partake of some of Cameron’s delicious cuisine, a visit to Bistro Catering & Gourmet Take Away is in order. They are located at 5200 Highway 5 North, Suite 6 in Bryant. You can also find them online at bistrocateringar.com or reach them by phone at 501.213.0179.


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