Chowder Made With Bluegill and Corn
You can make a hearty fish chowder with bluegill filets. And, like all chowders, you can add your favorite ingredients to make it even better.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
2 pounds bluegill filets
4 ears of fresh corn
1 medium onion
2 celery stalks
1/4 pound smoked bacon
2 large potatoes
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Cut the corn kernels from the cob and reserve for later use. Break cobs in half and reserve. In a large pot heat vegetable oil and add chopped onion, carrot, celery and peppercorns. Saute until the onion is clear but not brown.
Add 2 quarts of water and the corn cobs. Bring to a low boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes. Strain broth and reserve, dispose of the cobs and other parts strained out. In a large pot fry the bacon until crisp and reserve. Add the corn kernels and chopped potatoes to the bacon grease, with salt and pepper to taste. Saute for five minutes, stirring constantly.
Add corn stock and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the crumbled bacon and fish filets. Cover and simmer for five minutes. Pour the cream into the pot around the sides, then stir very gently or shake the pot to blend it. Stirring will break up the filets. Ladle into bowls and garnish with the fresh parsley. You can also add some mushrooms, either fresh or canned, when adding the corn and potatoes.
To fry a bass filet I roll it in a mixture of 4 parts cornmeal and 1 part flour, drop it into the hot grease and let it cook until just done. Overcooking fish is the best way I know to loose flavor and make it tough. You can dip the filet in egg before rolling in meal, and that makes it stick better, if you want more meal on your filet. If you like a lot of breading on your fish, make a batter of milk, egg and flour, dip your fish in it and then fry. The batter will get crunchy brown but the fish inside will be moist and tender.
I don't especially like baked fish but it is simple. Put a couple of filets in a microwave pan, dab on some butter and a little salt and nuke until it turns white. Add some onion and bell pepper for added flavor. Lemon pepper seasoning salt also makes it better to me. Even better is to cover the filets with Pepperidge Farms Stuffing Mix before baking. Crush up the mix into a coarse powder, cover the filets and nuke. It is very good, with little fishy taste.
I have never met a fish stew or chowder I didn't like. One of my favorites is a milk based stew. Boil your fish and remove the bones. Fry up some bacon and crumble it up Flake the fish into a pot, add diced potatoes or rice, bacon and onions, cover with milk and simmer until the potatoes are tender. Add some salt and pepper while cooking. It is almost as good as New England clam chowder. I use rice milk since I am allergic to real milk, and although not as good, it ain't bad.
Another strong fish stew is made with tomatoes. I filet my bass but keep the bones and any attached meat. The bones are covered with water, salt and a couple of bay leaves and boiled. The broth is strained and kept. Add the filets and any meat you can pull off the bones back to the broth. Add diced canned tomatoes, hot sauce like Tabasco, salt and chopped onions.
Simmer about an hour. For a more hearty stew, add diced potatoes or rice. Make it as hot as you like. It is great on a cold winter day.
Carp recipes are common. Ron Brooks reminded mo how to cook roasted planked carp. Scale and gut a carp. Nail it to a plank. Roast over an open fire until the meat flakes. Throw away the carp and eat the plank. Onions and bell pepper may be added. There is also a recipe for baked carp. Scale and gut the carp and split into two halves. Place a brick between the two halves, cover with bell pepper, onion and salt and wrap in tin foil Bake in an oven for three hours. Unwrap carefully, throw away the carp and eat the brick. It will be better than the carp. Also works with a shingle or, if camping, a river rock.
I do have a serious recipe for carp. I can mine. I filet the carp, cut the filets into two inch chunks, bone and all ,and put into a pint canning jar with a tablespoon of cooking oil and a tablespoon of salt. Put the top on the jar and pressure cook for 90 minutes at 110 pounds. Take out and cool and let the jars seal. The bones will be soft just like in canned salmon. I make fish patties with the meat, chopped onion and bell pepper and crushed saltines. When pan fried they are almost as good as salmon croquettes.
One of the best fish I ever ate was while camping on Cape Breton Island off the New Brunswick coast in the mid-1970's. I caught an ocean fish and was told it was a pollack. I had never heard of them but they are sold in local grocery stores now. I wrapped it in tinfoil and baked it on my charcoal grill. The white meat was excellent! You can grill almost any fish but bass and other tender fish tear up easily. I got a fish holder for my grill. It is two long handler with a grill-like square on the end of each. They attach together. Put the filet between them, close it up and you can turn the fish without tearing it up.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
2 lbs red snapper or other white flaky fish cut into 2 oz pieces
1/2 cup flour
3 tablespoons cornmeal
1/2 cup crema or yogurt
1/2 cup mayonaise
1/2 cup cream
2 tablespoons Tobasco sauce
2 teaspoons lemon juice
12 corn tortillas
2 cups shredded green cabbage
1 cup pico de gallo or chunky salsa
1 cup oil for frying
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, flour, cornmeal and a pinch of salt. In a seperate bowl, whisk together crema, mayonaise, cream, lemon juice and Tobasco.
Heat oil to 375 degrees and dip fish into batter and fry until golden. Drain on paper towels. Heat each tortilla on a hot griddle and place 3 pieces of fish on each tortilla. Top with cabbage and drizzle about 2-3 tablespoons of sauce on each. Serve with pico de gallo or salsa.
How To Bake Fish With Bacon and Onions
Time Required: 90 minutes
1.Spray shallow baking pan with no-stick spray
2.Lay filets in pan, one layer only
3.Cover filets with strips of bacon
4.Place onion rings on top of bacon
5.Bake covered or uncovered at 400 degrees for one hour, or until bacon is done
6.Serve with baked potatoes and broccoli.
1.Stong oily fish like hybrids or bluefish are better
How To Filet Fish
A boneless filet is easy to cook, easy to eat, and taste better!
Time Required: 5 minutes
1.Catch a fish big enough to eat!
2.Lay fish flat on a board or table about waist high
3.Sharpen knife or get an electric knife
4.Cut down behind gills to backbone
5.Turn knife and cut down backbone, stopping just before cutting through skin at tail
6.Flip filet over, skin side down
7.Cut between meat and skin
8.Turn fish over, repeat process on other side of fish
9.Lay filet flat, cut rib cage away from rest of filet
10.Rinse filets, cook, eat
1.Soak filets in mild saltwater over night - removes some of the fish taste, makes a milder flavor
Clam Stuffed Trout Recipe
Fresh trout filets are filled with a savory stuffing and baked with a cheese sauce. Quick and easy. If you cannot find trout filets, any thin whitefish filet will work, such as tilapia or catfish.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
3 Tablespoons butter
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
2 cups soft bread crumbs
1 can (6.5 ounces) chopped clams, drained
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
6 (4 to 6 ounces each) fresh trout filets, skinned
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed Cheddar cheese soup, undiluted
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill weed or 2 teaspoons dried dill
2 Tablespoons chopped roasted red peppers (jarred is fine)
1 Tablespoon butter, melted
3 Tablespoons dry bread crumbs
Hungarian Sweet Paprika
Preheat oven to 425 F. Lightly spray a glass casserole dish with vegetable oil.
Gently saute onions and celery in the butter until soft, but not browned. Remove from heat. Add bread crumbs, clams, salt, and lemon pepper. Toss until well-combined. Place trout filets, skinned-side up, on a cutting board. Divide stuffing equally and place in the center of the filets. Bring the ends up and over the stuffing to form a roll. Place in the casserole dish with the tucked ends down.
Whisk together Cheddar cheese soup, dill weed, and roasted red peppers. Pour evenly over trout roll-ups. Combine butter and dry bread crumbs. Distribute evenly over the top of the trout rolls and sprinkle lightly with sweet paprika. Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes, until fish flakes easily with a fork.
Yield: 6 servings