Eileen Clarke is a rare woman. The
long-time cooking columnist for Field & Stream
has written more on cooking wild things than anyone in
my memory. Classic Freshwater Fish cooking
follows the Freshwater Fish Cookbook and
The Venison Cookbook. She also co-authored,
with Sil Strung, The Art of Wild Game Cooking.
For those who have not been discouraged by the political
incorrectness of hunting, the Wild Game book is the only
book containing the proper (and safe) methods of dressing
and preserving meat in the field. It is full of tips, and warnings
of what happens if you don't take care of game properly.
Classic cooking means those methods
of cooking fish through history — and the methods most
used by the big name restaurants. This is a book for those
who love to fish and who love to cook. There are nearly
100 time-tested, crowd-pleasing, lip-smacking recipes for
cooking walleye, bass, northern pike, trout and more. All
recipes are made from easy-to-find ingredients and use simple
preparation methods, so both beginners and experts will find
delicious, fast, and easy options for cooking freshwater fish.
One of the advantages Eileen Clarke has
in writing a cookbook on wildgame or fish is she is both a
hunter and angler. And not an amateur either. Read her
discriptions of the places and reasons to fish. Droll over
the wonderful photographs — of angling as well as the food.
If you have a Rainbow Trout like
the one shown on the cover, this is the classic
recipe for it.
Yield: 4 servings
"Make trout almondine at home on a
cold winter's night, or stash a handful of almonds, a lemon,
and a couple of springs of parsley in the cooler next time
you go on an overnight fishing trip. This dish may sound
snooty and continental, but it cooks up quickly over a campfire,
Coleman stove, or your kitchen range.
- 2 trout, 12 inches (30cm) long each
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) flour
- 4 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 4 ounces (100 g) silvered almonds
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, about 1/2 lemon
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- "Rinse the trout in cold water and shake gently to
remove excess moisture. Do not dry the trout. Lightly
sprinkle the inside of the trout with salt and pepper to taste,
then dust the outside with the flour and set aside.
- "In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter
over medium-high heat until the butter is hot but not
darkening, and quickly brown both sides of the trout.
Then lower the heat and cook the trout 10-12 minutes,
turning once. Drain the cooked trout and place on a
- "Melt the rest of the butter in the skillet over medium
heat and add the slivered almonds. Shake the pan back
and forth until the almonds are golden brown. Add the
lemon juice and chopped parsley, and remove from the
heat. Stir gently, then spoon over the trout and serve
immediately. Serve with boiled new potatoes, and if you
like lots of lemon, slice the second half of that freshly
squeezed lemon into wedges.
"Note: If you think flour, cornmeal,
and other dry coatings are just adding flavor and calories
to your fish, think again. There are few things harder to get
totally dry than a trout. If you didn't roll the fish in something
powdery and dry to soak up all the microscopic droplets of
water, you would be in grave danger from oil flareups in the
pan. Fish are best cooked at high temperatures, and hot oil
on your skin is quite painful."
If that one doesn't sell the book, you
will miss neat things like Bass Jumbalaya, Lemony Stuffed
Walleye Rolls, Fried Catfish and Hush Puppies, Fish Cakes
Did I mention there is even a section
on freezing and thawing fish? This really is a terrific book,
if the truth be known, one to leave out on the coffee table.
It's a great conversation starter. ~ DB