If you live in Niagara s I do it’s there’s always something new to eat, something special to discover. This week I got a call from Rod Minor in Port Colborne.
Rod is fisherman and he fishes the waters of Lake Erie. There’s nothing better than the fresh, clean flavours of lake fish. I tend to prefer them to the oily, density of salt water fish. I find them easier to cook with because you can add some verjus and no matter what accompanies with lake fish, it all offers clean, fresh flavous.
This week Rod pulled some beautiful Silver Bass from Lake Erie. So I told Rod I’d take 3 whole ones – no filetting, just clean them and I’d cook them whole. I was feeling like a little dinner presentation was in order.
Wow, when I got to Minor Fish (176 West St) the 3 fish were so large I began wondering who I’d have to invite for dinner. One of the Silver Bass alone would feed both my husband and I.
On the way home I sorted out what I’d do with them so I made a quick detour to the grocery store for a few boxes of coarse salt.
I washed the fish inside and out, put a few herbs and bit of verjus in the cavity and laid them on a 2-inch bed of salt. Then I covered them with an inch of salt. I left the heads and tails exposed for presentation, then I roasted them for almost an hour.
When they were ready to serve, I chipped away at the salt crust, brushed away any remaining salt, peeled away the skin and began eating the flesh. Oh my gosh!! This fish was succulently juicy, the tender meat flaked beautifully and my husband and I devoured one in the blink of any eye. It was a big one though, so we were very full.
Tonight we’re taking the other 2 to my uncles house for dinner. I’m taking the pickerel cheeks also. I just couldn’t resist, when I was waiting for my Silver Bass to be packaged up, I saw these silver-dollar sized pickerel cheeks. I’m going to bread them and cook them up with some bacon and herbs – perhaps I’ll fry up some sage chips. Them I’ll make a spicy aioli to dip them in – they should be good.
If you live in Niagara I highly recommend a beautiful drive out to Port Colborne to Minor Fish. The 3 large Silver Bass only cost $6.75! A feast to last 3 days and at shockingly low prices – get out there before Rod reads this email and contemplates raising his prices.