Anticipating salmon - Ideas please
A friend and I are fishing Lake Michigan in a little less than two weeks.
He is a wonderful friend who wants the experience, but none of the catch. He does not like fish and wants to donate 100% of his catch to me.
The (hopefully not overly optimistic) charter boat captain anticipates ten fish in the 10 to 20 pound range.
Hounds, I can vacuum-seal fillets. I can smoke fillets in my wonderful Bradley Digital smoker.
Any ideas for near-term and long-keeping of these jewels will be appreciated.
The catch is anticipated to be mainly Coho...if that bears on opinions.
Thanks in advance,
I like to do salmon wrapped in phyllo dough every once in a while. Sometimes i'll teriyaki the salmon or put herbed goat cheese ot just rub dijon mustard on the salmon and wrap it in phyllo and bake. You can really do what ever suites your taste. Make sure you brush melted butter on each layer of the phyllo before wrapping.
Great replies, all. And thank you.
Our schedule is: Out on the water from 2:00 to 7:00 next Monday. Home around 10:00pm.
My thoughts are to leave the catch whole, in large amounts of ice, until I can get home on TUESDAY after work to begin cleaning, cooking, smoking, curing....etc.
Any thoughts about that? Or should I at least gut them to decrease the mass that I must chill and keep cold? My thoughts are to keep them whole to prevent the ice and ice water from adversely affecting them while they await my attention.
Check if the charter boat captain will prep your catch at no extra charge. Most do.
If you have to (or want to) do them yourself, I would at least gut them. I'd be very surprised if there was not a fish cleaning station close to where the boat will be dropping you off. If you have to do them yourself, bring a nice knife and gut them there. That is just my opinion, btw.
My thought process is this: Gut them so the organ tissues that will start to break down does not have any chance to seep into the flesh. It might not be correct, but that is just my thought.
I'd also love to hear how you did, and where you were, and what Charter boat you're using. I cannot say enough about the guy we go with. A grade all the way, and several of the times that we've gone, the other boats on the water are getting skunked while we are slayin em. These guys are great if anyone is interested:
I do a charter or two out of St Joseph every year.
Hope you do well. Random thoughts:
Plan on gorging on fish for a week.
Vaccuum sealing is great, but your fish will never be as good as it was the first few days after it was caught. If you freeze it for a few days, and let it thaw, it will still be pretty good. If you wanna freeze it for more than a week, vaccuum seal it first.
If all systems are go, and the fish are cooperating, maybe plan a get together with friends the day of, or the day after your return. Plan on prepping the fish several different ways - grilling, smoking, frying. Plan on several different sauces.
These are lake salmon, not ocean salmon. They are less fatty. Don't be expecting unctiously fatty Alaskan shrimp fed salmon here. Think more like trout. Frying these is perfectly acceptable.
If you wind up with any lake trout in your bag, THAT'S the good stuff, imo. Savor it.
Eat as much as you can the first few days. If you like fish, it'll be easy. Fresh fish is awesome. A lot of ppl who "don't like fish" can be converted if they have fish that was caught that day.
OOOOH. Cut off the "mud veins" (dark colored sections between skin and flesh) and fry them up. Poor man's oysters. IME, this is the part that starts getting strongly "fishy" tasting first in the days after the fish is caught.
Buy some herbal tea with a one note flavor. I recommend blueberry. Liberally sprinkle a filet with it to form a crust on the flesh. Let it sit in the fridge for half a day. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill it. You're welcome.
When you get home, process the fish you're gonna cook and the fish you're gonna freeze right away. If you have some alotted for friends/family or such, get them to those ppl asap.
For prepping, a needle nosed pliers is great for those pin bones.
Have an area already set up for prep before you get back. My guess is you'll be on the water for the morning bite? 6am ish? Might be a long day. When you get home, that couch might feel really nice compared to cleaning up to get ready for prep.
Fresh fish is gonna be great no matter what you do to it (aside from overcooking it)
Share as much as you can with good friends. Cook a bunch up as soon as possible and have ppl bring sides. I normally set up the turkey fryer, fry a bunch up, and grill a bunch up as well with different sauces (tzatziki, teriyaki, chipotle mayo, tartar, yogurt &dill, mustard&dill, hollandaise,) and have a bunch of cold beer, and gorge, gorge, gorge.