"Cook County" Fish Boil

This is our take on the traditional "Door County" fish boil. We like using fillets instead of steaks so as to omit the bone factor. If you choose, you can use many other types of fish for this recipe also. We kicked up the potatoes to the finger variety and caramelize the onions for the sweetness. A little melted butter sauce to finish is the crowning touch.


  • 6-4 ounce lake trout fillets, skinned

  • 6-4 ounce lake whitefish fillets, skinned

  • 1 handful fresh chives

  • 1/4 cup fresh thyme

  • 1/4 cup fresh dill

  • 1 lemon, sliced

  • 1/4 cup good white wine

  •  2 cups butter, unsalted

  • 2 pounds finger potatoes

  • olive oil

  • salt

  • rosemary

  • 6 cups onions, sliced

  • 1/2 cup butter

Beurre Blanc Sauce

  • 1 cup dry white wine or champagne

  • ½ cup white wine vinegar

  • 1 tbsp shallot, finely chopped

  • 1 lb unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1 inch cubes

  • Kosher salt, to taste


Caramelized Onions

  • Melt 1 cup butter in skillet, add onions. cook on medium heat until caramelized, about 1 hour. Reduce onions to almost a paste, sweet and dark. Set aside.

Roasted Potatoes

  • Preheat oven to 425. Season potatoes with olive oil, salt, and rosemary. Bake on sheet pan about 20 minutes, turning once, until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.

Poached Fish

  • Melt butter in a skillet or roasting pan, one large enough to accomodate the fish. Add chives, thyme, dill and lemon. Slowly pour in wine, bring to a slow simmer. Gently add fillets to the poaching liquid. Simmer covered for about 12 minutes. Remove fish from pan and set aside. Strain poaching liquid and reserve.

Buerre Blanc Sauce

  • Heat wine, vinegar and shallots in a saucepan until the liquid boils, then lower the heat a bit and continue simmering until the liquid has reduced down to about 2 tablespoons. This should take about 10 minutes

  • While the liquid reduces you can cut the butter into medium (½-inch) cubes, but either leave this until the reduction is nearly finished or return the butter cubes to the refrigerator to keep them cold while the liquid finishes reducing.

  • Once the wine-vinegar mixture has reduced to 2 tablespoons, reduce the heat to low and start adding the cubes of butter, one or two at a time, and whisk rapidly with a wire whisk.

  • As the butter melts and incorporates, add more butter and keep whisking. Continue until you only have 2-3 cubes remaining. Remove from heat while whisking in the last few cubes, and whisk for a moment or two more. The finished sauce should be thick and smooth.

  • Season to taste with Kosher salt. Traditionally the shallots would be strained out before serving, but doing so is optional. Serve right away.

  • Makes 2 cups of beurre blanc sauce.


  • First squash roasted potatoes on plate. Add fish then cover with a spoonful of onions. Top with a splash of butter sauce.

  • Serves 6 to 8 people,. Enjoy!

Dirk FucikFish