Crispy Oven-Fried Walleye Cakes With Black Bean Salsa

Oven-frying gives the cakes a wonderful crunchy coating without adding a lot of fat. The trick is to cook at a high oven temperature. Don’t refrigerate the cakes longer than 30 minutes before cooking. If the cakes become too chilled, the crushed corn flakes won’t stick to them.

Fish Cakes . . .

Five 5-ounce walleye fillets
1 sm. yellow onion, finely minced
2 sm. jalapeños, seeded and finely minced
1 sm. green bell pepper, minced
1/2 c. seasoned bread crumbs
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. light mayonnaise
2 lg. eggs, lightly beaten
Juice of 1 lemon
11⁄2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 c. corn flakes, crushed

Black Bean Salsa . . .

One 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
5 oz. frozen yellow corn, defrosted
1 medium jalapeño
2 tbsp. red onion, minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. olive oil
juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. cilantro, chopped
1 large tomato (in winter, substitute 2 to 3 Romas)

Bake the walleye fillets in a covered baking dish for 20 minutes at 400°F. Remove the cover, drain the baking juices, and allow the fillets to cool at room temperature.

While the walleye is baking, prepare the salsa. Combine all ingredients in a nonreactive bowl, cover, and let stand at room temperature for several hours before serving.

When the walleye has cooled, break it apart with a fork and combine it with the other ingredients, except the corn flakes, butter, and salsa. Blend well.

Cover a cutting board with wax paper. Scoop out 1/3 cup of the mixture and drop it on the wax paper. Using the bottom side of the measuring cup, gently flatten the cake. Carefully pick up the cakes as you make them and place them on a plate covered with wax paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Remove the cakes from the refrigerator and gently roll them in the crushed corn flakes. Place in an ungreased glass baking dish. Place a small butter pat on top of each cake. Bake at 450°F for 20 to 25 minutes until the coating on the cakes is crispy. Let the cakes stand for a few minutes before serving, and top each one with a tablespoon of the black bean salsa. Makes 5 servings (10 fish cakes). n

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