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Into The Outdoors: Fish Recipes

Well, it finally happened. My son and I got out panfishing. We had a pretty good catch of bluegills. Fresh fish was a welcome treat. This got me to thinking about fish recipes, as part of my passion for cooking.

One of the things you will notice about my recipes is that they call for Old Bay Seasoning. I use it on any fish or seafood, and, for that matter, most everything else. The first is a really simple one. This might be the time to add that I filet all of my fish, then soak the filets in salt water. This step makes for better flavor and texture. Anyway, sprinkle the filets with Old Bay, then coat them with Zatarain’s Fish Fry. Fry them in a skillet in canola oil. This works with any type of fish. They are excellent by themselves, in a fish sandwich, with mac and cheese or with french fries, a personal favorite of mine.

When it comes to cooking fish, the grill can be your best friend or worst enemy. If you just toss your filets on the grill, there is a good chance that disaster awaits. One of two things is likely to happen. Your fish will either stick to the grill, or fall apart and go through the grates. Luckily, there are simple solutions. The one I use the most is a grill topper made of perforated metal. The fish can’t pass through the little holes, but it still gets a full dose of the heat. Be sure to use nonstick cooking spray on the grill topper. In fact, I even give my spatula a little shot of it. Don’t forget the Old Bay!

Another grill possibility is planking. No, this is not the old joke about throwing the fish away and eating the board. Cedar planks are available online and at some restaurant supply houses. You have to soak the plank in water for at least an hour, although I prefer longer, to prevent them from catching fire. Also, it’s not a good idea to turn the heat up full blast. The method works best with thick fish, such as salmon. The plank soaks up some of the oil, and gives the fish a light, smoky flavor.Some say that the planks are reusable, but I haven’t found that to be the case.

Here’s one I have mentioned a number of times over the years. Fish for breakfast. I prefer trout, but just about any fish will do. Golden brown filets, with a “dippy” egg and rye toast is just about as good as breakfast can get.

For many years, I didn’t poach fish, because it just looked too difficult. Then, I saw a cooking show on television that dealt with the topic. The recipe used evaporated milk as the poaching liquid. Many other liquids will work as well, but I decided to go with the canned milk. In an electric skillet, bring the milk to a simmer, toss in a few slices of onion, some Old Bay and salt and pepper to taste. Start testing for doneness after about 6 minutes. By the way, this recipe does not seem to work as well, at least for me, with oily fish like salmon or trout.

Here’s a little warning. As delicious as sushi and sashimi are, don’t try to make them yourself. If you do, you are almost certain to pick up some nasty parasites. Go to a licensed restaurant for these delightful treats. Even if fish is labeled sushi grade, I prefer to play it safe.

And finally, don’t forget to get your new hunting license.


Chris Henderson email:

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