Fish Story

Marcus Burnett Issue: Section:

Can we talk about cooking?  One of my favorite meals is a very simple one.

 I like to go out fishing for striped bass in my boat, but I rarely 
 catch one that reaches the mandatory 28 inches in order to keep it. 

For this reason I've started approaching the other fishermen at the dock, while they are cleaning their catch.

I say ,"Hey, if you don't mind I would like to have that fish 
carcass, I need something for my crab traps."

You may ask why wouldn't I just tell him the truth, that I planned on taking it home and cooking it? Well, that's interesting, people seem more receptive to this tactic for some reason. Try it.

Anyhow the fisherman is usually in a hurry to get home to his family or whatever and he often possesses poor filleting skills, so he leaves about an inch of meat on the bone.  Now you can imagine a 20 pound fish might yield 8-9 pounds of fillet, but there is a lot of good eating fish left on that carcass.

The meat is especially sweet and tender around the jaw and neck.

So I find a plastic bag and chuck it in there, take it home, scale and

wash it, then it's ready to cook.

I take a 1/2 head of cabbage and some 8-10 new potatoes,slice the cabbage real thin like slaw and cut the potatoes thin too.

Throw that in a large mixing bowl, add salt and pepper, plenty of 
olive oil and a few good slugs of Balsamic  vinegar...toss that.

These fish average 30 inches long so I pull a string through the mouth and poke a hole in the tail with a sharp knife and tie the tail to the head.

 I take olive oil and rub the whole thing down, then apply liberal amounts kosher salt and fresh pepper.

This makes a nice nest for the cabbage/potato mix which I mound in 
the middle.

Into the oven at 350 for 1hr or more until you poke the fish and the flesh falls away.

This dish usually feeds 4-6 people depending on the side dishes and 
how adventurous the eaters are.

Well, that's my two cents worth on the matter. Next time you see someone 
filleting a big fish try this. 

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