Aug 9, 2009

Kids & Fish

Most kids like to fish at least for a little while. Thrilling excitement, concentration and fear all play across their faces as they feel the tug on the end of their line and realize that they are now connected to an unknown, unseen "something" down in the water.

This gentleman's congratulations became a bit much for his grand daughter and her snapper catch.

In the lower photo my nephew was proud of his first striped bass catch on the Sound. If I hadn't grabbed his pants I think he'd have gone over the rail when the striper hit the clam-belly bait. Upon returning home to Florida he told his dad that he wanted to live with his uncle Mark on Long Island :-)

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Amy's Stuffed Striped Bass

Fresh striped bass meat is firm textured and not "fishy". A whole fish yields mostly white meat. Fish size is limited only by the size of your oven and bakeware (this one fit nicely in our 36" Viking). Ingredient amounts are very flexible depending on the fish size. Gut the fish and scale thoroughly because the roasted skin is yummy! Remove the head and tail if they don't fit in the bakeware. Cut several places in the side of the fish to prevent curling, rub salt and lots of black pepper into the skin and coat with olive oil. Extra stuffing can be baked in a dish. Leftover striper makes great fish cakes.

For the stuffing:

Butter/bacon fat and or olive oil
Chopped onion and celery
Saltine crackers and semolina bread chunks chopped in a food processor with some dry bread crumbs
Cooked shrimp coarsely chopped
Clam juice (bottled) or chicken stock
Fresh lemon juice
White wine
Whole celery seed
Hot pepper sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chopped parsley
Two eggs well beaten

Saute the onion and celery in a generous amount of fat until soft with a little bit of crunch. Add to the bread cubes and saltines in a large bowl. Add the shrimp. Wet the bread mixture with clam juice, lemon juice and white wine until it all holds together nicely. Season to taste with hot pepper sauce, celery seed and plenty of salt and pepper. Add eggs and blend well. Bake in and along side the fish. Place the fish on a bed of coarse salt to bake so the skin doesn't stick. Make a lot... you'll want more!

Preheat oven to 500 degrees, bake the fish for 10-15 minutes then turn heat down to 400. Roast undisturbed for another 15-20 minutes until the fish looks sizzly and well roasted with an internal temperature of 130 degrees. Don't let it bake long enough to get dry. It's not necessary to turn the fish. Use two big spoons to separate the meat from the bones. Yum!!