Ukrainian Pike with Dried Mushrooms

The Ukrainians have an unusual method of cooking pike, walleye, and other good fish, adated here from The Best of Ukraininan Cuisine. The dried mushrooms really make the dish.

2 pounds fresh pike, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 cup dried mushrooms
2  medium onions
2 pounds new potatoes
3 or 4  bay leaves
1 cup dry bread crumbs
 {salt}, to taste
 {pepper}, to taste
Soak the mushrooms in water in a pot for 30 minutes. Add some salt, bring to heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. While waiting, sauté the onions in a little oil. Drain and set aside.

Drain and chop the mushrooms, being sure to save the water in which they were cooked. Slice the new potatoes and simmer them in a separate pot until tender. Drain and set aside.

Put the fish chunks, mushrooms, sautéed onions, and potatoes into a pot. Add the bay leaves, salt, pepper, and 1 cup of the reserved mushroom water. Mix gently and simmer for 20 minutes.

While waiting, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Using a slotted spoon, take the fish chunks out of the mixture, roll in bread crumbs, put into a greased pan, and bake for 10 minutes. Plate the fish, putting the potatoes and mushrooms all around.

Ease of Preparation: Moderate

Preparation Time: 60 min
plus 30 min soaking time

Cook Time: 90 min

Servings: 4

Recipe By: A. D. Livingston

From:  The Freshwater Fish Cookbook
Used with permission of The Lyons Press