With my Irish heritage, I know full well the value of a potato, though I have learned to respect it even more as an angler.
There are two essential food items I tote along on every extended fishing trip: potatoes and onions. Why? Because they’re both cheap, easy to store and are unlikely to perish no matter where you leave a sack lying around.
Potatoes are the Transformers of the culinary world. Depending on how you carve and cook them, spuds can be incorporated into numerous dishes without ever feeling redundant.
A great quality of the twice-baked walleye potato: you don’t need pristine fillets for a superb meal. Maybe Cousin Craig mangled his last couple walleye fillets. Remove the lateral bones from the fillets, slice them up and ladle them over a twice-baked potato—the best of both potato worlds with a baked exterior and hearty, savory, cheesy, bacon-y mashed insides.
While the twice-baked walleye potato requires some prep work in advance, once completed, it can be stored in the fridge and quickly heated up for a shore lunch. Simply toss them on a grill or in an oven and you will be back on the water in no time. Go ahead and enjoy a beer while you wait for it to roast.
If you don’t own ancho chili powder, I highly recommend you invest in a jar or packet. Ancho chili peppers (sundried poblano peppers) are raisin-meets-chili peppers—a great addition to any walleye dish.
Makes four servings.
4 large baking potatoes, 6 to 8 ounces each,
yielding total 2-1/2 cups mashed potatoes
1/3 cup sour cream
3 ounces cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon chives, diced
1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic
1/2 pound bacon, diced and fried
1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
12 ounces walleye, filleted, lateral bones removed
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese to top potatoes
To prepare bacon: Heat a large skillet on medium. Dice bacon and add to pan, stirring regularly. Remove bacon from skillet and drain grease through a sieve once bacon browns, approximately 10 to 15 minutes (remember bacon will cook for a couple minutes longer while grease drains). Set aside.
To bake and prep potatoes: Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Wash potatoes and poke liberally with fork. Place in oven and baked for 50-60 minutes or until potatoes are soft but not mushy. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a couple minutes. Slice off tops and spoon out contents into large mixing bowl. Add sour cream, cheddar cheese, chives, garlic, bacon, salt and pepper to bowl. Mix thoroughly. Insert mashed mix back into potato skins.
To assemble: Cut walleye fillets into 2-inch, thin strips and cover stuffed potatoes with walleye. Dust with ancho chili powder and top with Parmesan cheese. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
To cook: Heat an oven or grill to 400 degrees. Place assembled twice-baked potato in oven or on grill. Roast long enough to fully cook walleye and melt parmesan—approximately 10 to 15 minutes.