In my hometown in Northern California, I don’t have to drive very far to throw a line out a line, and I have so many great areas to fish! I love to fish in lakes, rivers, and creeks and catch trout, bass, and salmon.
For the best flavor, it's important to properly care for the fish after catching them. As for cooking, below are a couple of simple recipes for fried fish. And by simple, I mean not "fancy" cooking! I’ve eaten fish many ways and to me, you just can’t beat perfectly fried fish. When cooking, it's important to be very careful not to dry it out by exposing it to high heat for too long. The greatest sin in cooking fish is over cooking.
How to Treat Fish
De-gill and gut fish soon after they are caught (at least by the end of the day)
Clean out the soft, dark, bloodlike vein under the backbone
Make sure you keep your fish cold until you get home, pouring out any excess water from your ice chest. If you leave your fish in water it can spoil it.
You can leave the skin on trout, some people prefer it like that. I usually filet my fish and take out any floating bones. Some people might say that’s a waste of time or I’m wasting some meat, but I hate bones. If I can take them out, I do.
Recipe: Fried Trout
Creamy horse radish
Season the fish with salt and pepper, then coat the trout by rolling it in the flour.
Heat oil in a large frying pan until ready to fry, then decrease to medium heat. You want to cook the trout slowly and at the same time brown the trout.
Don’t walk away from your trout, it could get ruined quickly! It usually takes 3-5 minutes to cook, depending on how thick they are.
After the first side is browned, flip it and cook the other side.
For the dipping sauce, mix together all ingredients.
Spritz the fried fish with lemon, dip in the sauce and enjoy!
Recipe: Pan Fried Bass
Forget descaling bass...I always skin it and filet the meat. I prefer two different batters for fried bass. The first is McCormick Tempura Sea Food Batter Mix; it gives the fish a nice crunch and the flavor is great. The second is Uncle Buck’s Fish Batter Mix (original); the flavor is good, but you don’t get much of a crunchy outside.
Season filets to taste with salt and pepper, then roll and coat in your preferred batter.
Heat oil in a large frying pan until ready to fry.
Bass cooks pretty fast, so you can estimate about 5 minutes or less on each side, depending on how thick the filets are.
The fish is done when the flesh is opaque in color.
Spritz the fried filets with lemon and/or make your favorite dipping sauce such as tartar sauce