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Seared Whitefish with Creamy Grits, Sweet Corn Chow Chow and Poached Herring Butter Sauce

Eat Wisconsin Fish / Seared Whitefish with Creamy Grits, Sweet Corn Chow Chow and Poached Herring Butter Sauce


Chef Seth Vander Laan, Potawatomi Bingo Casino, Milwaukee

Winner of the 2013 Lake Superior Fish Classic!

Whitefish Fillets


2 each Whitefish fillets, skin on and cut in half
2 tablespoons Canola oil
2 ounces Poached herring butter sauce


Heat sauté pan over medium high heat. Add canola oil and sear fish portions skin side down.

Continue cooking until browning appears up the side of the fish. Turn fish over and continue cooking for 1 minute. Remove from pan.

Plate fish with poached herring butter sauce under the fish to keep skin crispy.

Serve with 1/4 Cup Creamy Grits and 1/4 Cup Sweet Corn Chow Chow.

Creamy Grits


1/4 cup Stone ground white grits
1 cup Chicken stock
1 tablespoon Butter
2 tablespoons Heavy cream
To taste Salt and pepper


Bring stock and cream to a boil.

Add grits and continue to simmer over medium low heat for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. Turn off heat and add butter. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.

Sweet Corn Chow Chow


1 ear Fresh sweet corn, cut off the cob
1 tablespoon Red pepper, small dice
1 tablespoon Roma Tomato, small dice
1 tablespoon White onion, small dice
1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
1/3 cup Cold water
1 teaspoon Sugar
1 pinch Fresh ground mustard seed
1 pinch Fresh ground coriander
1 teaspoon Chopped fresh herbs (basil, thyme and parsley)


Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and let sit at room temperature for 45 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.

Poached Herring Butter Sauce


1 cup Court bouillon or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons Sweet white wine
1 tablespoon Heavy cream
1/4 cup Butter, cubed
2 each Lake herring fillets, skin off
To taste Sale and white pepper


Bring bouillon and white wine to a light simmer. Turn off heat and let sit for 1 minute.

Add herring to liquid and let sit for 3 minutes or until cooked all the way through.

Remove herring and set aside. Discard 1⁄2 of the liquid in the pan. Add the heavy cream and reduce remaining liquid by half.

Remove from heat and slowly add the cubed butter.

Lightly shred the cooked herring and add to butter sauce.
Season to taste with salt and white pepper.