Pike Quenelles in Fennel Broth

Traverse Magazine’s Food Editor Tim Tebeau teams up with his chef mom to catch and cook four delicious and iconic northern fish. Here's their recipe for Pike Quenelles in Fennel Broth.

Serves 6


For the quenelles -
  • 12 ounces northern pike fillets, skinned and deboned
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 1⁄4 cup heavy cream, very cold
  • 1⁄2  teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1⁄2  teaspoon finely ground white peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds
For the broth -
  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil
  • 11⁄2 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1 cup carrot, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup fresh fennel bulb, diced 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken
  • stock or broth 1 cup water


Chill bowl and blade of food processor. Make sure fish is very cold. Process fish and egg white together until smooth. With processor running add cream in a thin stream until well incorporated. Stop machine, sprinkle in salt, pepper, parsley and fennel and process for 20 seconds until mixture is blended and begins to tighten. Transfer fish mixture to a stainless steel bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. Fill a large saucepan with 2 to 3 inches of water, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer around 180 degrees. Nest bowl of fish mixture into a larger bowl filled with ice. Using two soup spoons take about an ounce of the fish mixture in one spoon and work between the two spoons to form a football shaped quenelle and place onto a chilled sheet pan. Gently drop formed quenelles into simmering water making sure they don’t touch each other. Poach quenelles for four minutes, turn over gently with a silicone spatula and finish poaching for an additional four minutes. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove quenelles from water and place in a medium mixing bowl filled with ice water. When chilled, transfer quenelles to a tray, cover and refrigerate (this can be done one day ahead). Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Sauté onions until translucent, add carrot, celery and fennel. Sauté for 2 minutes. Add thyme, bay leaf and white wine. Simmer until liquid is reduced by half. Add chicken stock and water, keep warm. Preheat oven to 350°. In 9-by-13-inch pan pour 1 cup broth and place quenelles in pan, cover with foil and heat in oven for 15 minutes until each quenelle is heated through. Divide vegetables and broth into six large soup plates. Place three quenelles on top of vegetables in each plate, garnish with fresh fennel fronds and serve.

Photo(s) by Mike Murphy