While we’re in the doldrums of a January deep freeze…post election…pre Covid 19 variants…locked down and working our way through the wood pile…..yes, it’s time to turn our attention to FISH.
First, let’s go with the assumption that either A)…you came across some forgotten fish in your freezer from 2019, or beyond…or B)…you’ve had the opportunity to fish more recently and have fish languishing in your ice box. Sure, they were a lot better when they were fresh, and maybe the spouse doesn’t appreciate the smell of frying fish on a January evening. What to do? Here’s a suggestion that works well with “vintage” fillets, and is particularly fine with trout or whitefish…but should work with most. Fish cakes…
Step one: Defrost what you have and check for freezer burn (brown, dried out sections) and remove that.
Step two: Add a couple inches of water to a shallow pan with a good dose of salt. Bring to a boil and add the fillets. Once they are done remove to a large bowl.
Step three: Have some ingredients ready. You will need some bread, Old Bay seasoning, mayonnaise, mustard, eggs…the whisky is optional but desirable. I usually chop up some green onions to add as well as the juice of a fresh lemon.
Step 4: Pictured above is a bowl of cubed bread with some green onions thrown in the mix. The other is the pan of simmered fish which has been drained and broken up into small pieces. I usually go with an equal amount of bread to the amount of fish I have.
Step 5: Combine the fish and bread crumbs. Now you can add a couple tablespoons of the Old Bay and a few squirts of the mustard. At this point you may opt to chop up some garlic and add if you are a garlic fan, or if you think your fish needs the help. Add a couple tablespoons of mayo….you want it to be moist but not wet. How many eggs you need is dependent on how much fish and bread are being used. I usually add 2, but with a larger recipe I’ve used 3. Mix this together. Give it a few squirts of lemon for good luck.
Step 6: Form the mixture into patties. I usually use waxed paper to lay them on.
Step 7: If you make more than you need for one meal, these work well frozen for another time. Wrap them in waxed paper and vacuum seal if you have the equipment.
Step 8: In a pan or grill fry the fish cakes till golden brown on both sides. Serve with a few slices of fresh lemon and a nice white wine.
While I’ve only made these with trout or whitefish I’m sure they could work with pike or walleye.
We’ve had some seriously mild whether till now (minus 29 C this morning!) and have had a few chances to catch some fish…
It seems that while the vaccine may bring about a positive change in our lives there are still many unknowns. Are we confident about a “normal” 2021 fishing season here at the lodge? To be totally honest and upfront, no we aren’t. I think spring might be at risk and for those of you who don’t have the flexibility to make changes to your vacation plans at the last minute, you may need to consider your options. For those that can wait and see, we will send out updates as soon as we have more information. We are hoping that moving reservations to 2022 won’t need to happen, but it’s best to be upfront with that possibility. While we wait and see, stay healthy and keep your fingers crossed for some positive developments.
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On behalf of the Boyes Group, I would like to pass on our sincere thanks for hosting the Muskie Madness Week and we thoroughly enjoyed our stay at VBL and had a great time!! This was our 7th year on Eagle Lake and we have stayed at a few other lodges but VBL takes the cake hands down! You can definitely count us in for next year. I’m happy to see you post some of my pics, they turned out well. Thanks again Gord for a wonderful week of fishing and your stellar hospitality, you run a first class operation, we look forward to seeing you next year!