09 September 2009

With my pole, baby, and my line...

Yesterday at about 4:00, I got a call from Jason. He asked me if I could research recipes for striped bass, or striper. Scott, a friend of ours from church, had taken Jason fishing, and Jason caught a 29 inch striper! He sounded pretty excited on the phone, but truthfully, all I could think about was, "I have no idea how to clean and gut and de-bone and fillet a fish. Please don't make me do that." Images of Julia Child hacking through fish heads with a machete were racing through my head. I think all I managed to say out loud was, "Umm..." Jason said reassuringly, "Scott said he'd cut it into fillets." Thank God. "That's great, Jason. Bring it home. I'll see what I can do."

I was envisioning some very cute little fillets, about the size we buy at the grocery store (because we still haven't found a good fish market, which is unbelievable being that we live in the seafood capital of the world). Well, Jason walks in with no less than 4 pounds of fish. That is a lot of fish. Especially when you have a family of two. I began to envision just how large the fish was that Jason caught for our supper, and I have to say that I was impressed. Still massively overwhelmed, but impressed nonetheless. We decided that since it was alive a few short hours ago, it would probably keep one more day, so maybe we could invite the whole building over for dinner tonight and somehow finish this sucker off. But I'd never made any sort of fish before other than salmon, which is the easiest thing in the world because it already has so much flavor. White fish? I was pretty clueless. So I decided that Jason and I had to be guinea pigs last night before I staked my entire reputation in front of the whole building on fish.

So I got down to business. I did some research and found a recipe for "heavenly broiled striper." It looked...questionable at best, but if it's so heavenly, how bad could it be? I had all the ingredients I needed, but why would I just follow the recipe? Where's the fun in that? So I thought to myself, "You know what this needs? Bacon!" Of course. "And fresh lemon." Yup. So Jason headed to the grocery store while I sat and stared at the leviathan on our kitchen table.

When he got back, I was all ready with the oven set to broil and the pan all ready and the topping made. I had him cut a large hunk out of one of the fillets and set it in the pan. And 15 minutes later, we were eating some of the most delicious fish I've ever eaten in my life.
It was wonderfully satisfying to eat a meal that was actually caught and captured by my husband. It made me want to quit my job (surprise surprise) and move to a cabin in the woods with a little stream and live off the land with my big strong man of a husband hunting and fishing up our main courses while my children and I scampered around the garden and picked berries in the woods. How pioneer-tastic! (I was totally born in the wrong century.) Thank you, Jason, for that lovely little vision and for catching a very large and very tasty fish for our dinner. I am very proud of you.

For those of you who are curious, here's the recipe:

2 lbs. striped bass fillets
1 T. butter, melted
3 T. mayonnaise
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Dash salt
Dash Garlic Salt
Olive Oil

Set your oven to broil. Coat the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan with olive oil. Place a few strips of bacon in the pan. Place fillets on top of the bacon. (If the fillets are thick, put the fish in the oven to broil for a few minutes, to get that side started. Then take it out and flip it.) Combine butter, mayo, parmesan, salt, and garlic salt, and spread mixture on top of the fish. Squeeze a little lemon juice on top. Broil fish 6 inches from source of heat for approximately 10 minutes, or until top is lightly browned and fish flakes easily when tested with fork. (Be careful not to broil fish too close to heat or topping will burn before fish is done.) Serve with a lemon wedge.

And that's it! Easy as...fish. I know it sounds pretty gross and terrible for you with all the oil and bacon and mayo and butter and cheese, but fish is so good for you that I'm sure it balances all that other stuff out. And it really was very tasty. Nice and crisp and parmesany on top and nice and bacony on the bottom. Mmm-mm good. >~O*> (<---That's a fish.)


  1. Fish is way better tasting when its freshly caught. Either that, or I convinced myself that it tasted better because I caught it... :)

    This recipe is fantastic, by the way. Everyone who reads this, this is good eatin'.

  2. props to jason--nice job catching your dinner!! i'm not gonna lie Robin, that recipe sounds horrifying...which is how come I believe you guys that it is probably delicious. Way to get out of your comfort zone and throw back to pioneer days!! :o)
    If only we could get fresh fish around here that wasn't drowned in the oil and filth-soaked bays of Galveston...

  3. I'll be honest. I'm happy for you, but bitter. I've gone fishing with my dad and father and law and never caught a thing...

    Seriously, good work. Next time I hang out with you, Jason is catching fish and we're eatin' good.

  4. Nice team work! Sounds delicious and now that I can have seafood again, I'll have to try it :o)

    Robin, your next "make" can be making the wonderful trip to the Promised Land to meed your niece. So excited you're coming!

  5. It certainly was delicious...and horrifying...and delicious. :o)
    Devin, I guess you just need to try harder.
    Megan, just 3 more hours, and we're on our way!!

  6. Um...the recipe sounds awesome. I don't know what this "horrifying" business is about. Mayonnaise is an amazing ingredient and as soon as you stop looking at what goes into mayo you can just enjoy it for it's deliciousness.

  7. I'm glad you think so, Joel. I can generally deal with mayo. I think the gross factor gets elevated by the combination mayo, butter, cheese, oil, and bacon. But seriously, so much goodness in one artery-clogging dish of glory.