Wednesday, February 5, 2014

It's NEVER too cold to fish !!

Up here in Winter Land we never stop fishing. Lake frozen over? No problem. Drill a hole and fish in it. Now, while I do not personally own any ice fishing gear I DO have friends who live for the sport, and they catch so much fish they share!! Generous friends are awesome to have!

So we have an abundance of beautiful bluegill fillets. Literally from lake water to my kitchen in a matter of hours. Couldn't be fresher unless I walked across the street and caught them myself from our lake. The majority of them were frozen on a wax paper lined sheet pan and then bagged in freezer bags (easy to pull out what I ant to cook and no frozen lumps of fish), but enough were set aside for dinner.

Now what to do with it. This is going to be a little different than the usual recipe format. I'm just going to tell you what I did, and it's so super simple you will be able to do it too.

Buttery Shrimp and Fish

Butter, garlic, herbs. We are starting right here. Using a good sized skillet (nonstick, stainless, cast iron- whatever you like to cook in), melt about 2/3 of a stick of BUTTER (please please please do not use margarine- you will not get the same result). Add 3 or 4 minced garlic cloves or about a good tablespoon if you use the jars of chopped garlic (which is fine, we use it too). Give that a minute or so to soften the garlic but not brown. Bring the heat up a little and add 10 peeled and tailless black tiger shrimp. Allow the shrimp to cook about 2 minutes, then flip over. At this time add the fish to the skillet (see note below).

Cook another couple minutes until the shrimp are done and the fish is ready to turn. Flip the fish and set the shrimp on top to prevent overcooking. Give the pan a nice hit with the herbs or spice of your choice and a big squeeze of lemon juice (add some rind if you like). I used chives and thyme. You can go anywhere with seasonings- southwestern, Asian spices, Italian herbs, whatever you love.

I served the fish and shrimp over a bed of quinoa that was also cooked with thyme and garlic. Delicious !! Drizzle lots of the buttery sauce in the pan over the dish. Some home-canned green beans alongside and......Heaven!

Ok, a couple things about the fish. I used bluegill fillets.They are small and pretty thin. They cook quickly. If you are using a thicker fillet of fish you can either start the fish first or remove the cooked shrimp and add back to briefly reheat. Just be sure the fish is cooked just until it flakes and the shrimp are not overcooked into rubber chew toys. If you like one but not the other- leave it out- go all shrimp,or all fish, it's your dish! I also didn't give a quantity of fish fillets- again, that depends on your appetite and how many people you're feeding. It was just the two of us and bluegill are small fillets so I used 6. Just adjust your amounts accordingly. 

This would also be amazing served over pasta. I'd also like it with mashed potatoes.

Now.........what am I going to cook up with all the rest of that fish ?????

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