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MEALS from the CREEL, by Arthur J. Michaels

OUTRAGEOUS CASSEROLES ...Fish Dishes For Singles

Lets face it - single anglers who enjoy the solitude of fishing alone often prepare and eat their meals alone, too. Some singles meet this circumstance with anxiety and panic, while others greet the situation with anticipation. How do you feel about fishing and feasting alone? A single angler should understand that "alone''' does not necessarily mean "lonely." If you're a single person who enjoys feasting on your fish catch, then your solo meals can be an exhilarating epicurean episode - no more boring meals!

"Why the casserole?" You might ask. The answer is simple. Casseroles, as we think of them, fulfill a very useful purpose: They are short on preparation time, complete in nutrition, and long on taste. Using simple ingredients and the fish you catch yourself, healthy meals can be prepared in little time. Casseroles also store well in the freezer for later use.

The first lesson for a casserole fish dish-for-one is this: Don't rely too much on cookbooks. Learn the basic steps, of course, then create recipes for your fish catches from foods that lure you, using herbs and spices that hook you. Try to steer clear of what you think a recipe "should be.” So, try these these recipes in their basic forms, then modify the ingredients if you feel inspired, and brainstorm to hatch your own recipes. And remember all of the recipe ingredients can be doubled, or even quadrupled, to serve more people. Hereafter, let's not hear any excuses about there being nothing for dinner!

Bluegill 'n Peanut Casserole

  • 8 ounces bluegill fillet,
  • flaked 1 cup cooked rice, brown or long grain
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup salted peanuts
  • 1 can cream of celery soup

Pour the soup into a 1 ½ quart casserole dish, then add the other ingredients. Put it in a 350° preheated oven for about 20 minutes. It's ready to serve when it bubbles freely around the edges. Try this with walnuts instead of peanuts; and you may substitute rock bass or crappies for bluegills.

Icky Fish Sauce

  • ½ cup cream
  • 4 ounces steamed peas*
  • 1/2 cup steamed mushrooms, sliced*
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ can cream of potato soup
  • 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped chives, or green onion
  • salt and pepper

* These may be microwaved in a covered dish with a little water, instead of steaming.

Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix at a moderate speed (steam the peas and mushroom before you add them to the blender). Pour this liquid in a small sauce pan and heat to a low boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer for a few minutes. Use this sauce as a dip for broiled fillets, pour it right over fried fish, or flake 6-8 ounces of cooked fish into the hot sauce and serve over rice or buttered toast. So why the name “Icky Sauce?” Because it comes out green, and well, “icky” looking - but it tastes great!

Scalloped Perch Italiano

  • 6-8 ounces yellow perch fillets (or Walleye)
  • 1 small zucchini squash, sliced
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 medium tomato, wedged thinly
  • ½ cup croutons (or 2-3 slices of cubed toast)
  • 2 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
  • dash garlic powder
  • dash salt and pepper

In a medium saucepan or casserole layer the squash, onion and fillets. Make tomato wedges the top layer. Sprinkle a little salt, pepper and garlic powder on and bake for 45 minutes in a 350° preheated oven. Remove casserole from oven and sprinkle cheese on top. Return the casserole to the oven until cheese melts. Serving this dish can be a little sloppy, so eat it right from the dish or serve it in a soup bowl or deep plate.

Large Mouth Filler

  • 6 - 8 ounces large mouth bass, flaked (or small mouth bass)
  • 2-3 ounces vegetable juice (V-8)
  • 2 ounces potato chips and pretzels
  • 1/2 cup steamed broccoli
  • 1/2 cup steamed cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon onion flakes
  • sprinkle of fresh parsley
  • dash salt and pepper

Pour the vegetable juice and soy sauce into a small casserole dish. Break up the potato chips into quarter size pieces, the pretzels into 1” pieces. Add them to the casserole with the other ingredients and bake for 15-20 minutes in a 400 degree preheated oven.

Fish Salad Casserole

  • 6 ounces cold leftover brown rice
  • l cup leftover cooked fish, flaked
  • 1/2 cup chopped green peppers
  • ½ cup peas and carrots
  • 1 tablespoon safflower oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon each of oregano, basil, marjoram, and thyme

Combine all ingredients in a large salad bowl for a quick lunch, dinner, or midnight snack. Serve cold.

Bagged Trout (Kind-of-a casserole)

  • 1 medium brown, rainbow, or brook trout, cleaned
  • 1 tablespoon clam juice
  • 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • pinch garlic powder
  • dash salt and pepper

Fold an 18-inch piece of aluminum foil in half, and shape a bed in it by crimping the edges. Lay the trout in and pour on the barbecue sauce, clam juice, and other ingredients. Fold the aluminum foil shut tightly but leave room for expansion from steam. In a 350° preheated oven, cook for about 20 minutes on a cookie sheet. It is also great cooked on a grill over hot coals. Eat it right from the "bag." This goes great with a side dish of Icky Fish Sauce.

Even though they won't admit it, feasting fishermen sometimes buy fish. And, while they may be good anglers, some guys don't know a fresh fish at the market if they see one. Here, then, are some tips to identify fresh fish, and some cooking hints to help you hone your culinary skill:

1. Fresh fish have clear, transparent eyes. They should not appear clouded or foggy.

2. Fresh fish have dark red gills, not pink or brown gills.

3. The fins of a fresh fish are light colored — never brown, graying, or darker than the fish's body.

4. Frozen fish tastes better and cooks more evenly when thawed overnight in the refrigerator, rather than cooked frozen right out of your freezer.

5. In general, cooked fish is ready to serve when it flakes easily with a fork. But if your kitchen has a "fishy" smell after you've made a fish dish, you overcooked the fish. When your cooked fish flakes with a fork and no fish odor persists after your meal, you're nearing the bullseye for gourmet fish cookery.

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Great idea and recipes. I'm a bachelor, but I also cook for my mom who loves fish. I usually make fish and take it to her for supper. I'm going to try one of these.

Thanks for posting,

Bruce

No worries man, just something a little different than the usual.
I wanna try the salad and the icky saice

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