Lake Trout with Morels

Any fish will work for this recipe. Just pick your favorite fillet and go with it. We just happened to have a huge lake trout in the freezer, so this is what I used. It is finally mushroom season, and morels are my favorite. Time to stock up!

Lake Trout with Morels

1 lb fish fillets 1/2 to 3/4 thick

2 Tbsp butter

1 1/2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced

1/3 cup green onion, sliced

Sea salt

1 tsp fresh thyme, or 1/4 tsp dry thyme

  • Thaw fish if frozen. Pat dry and place in baking dish. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  • In a saucepan melt butter and add mushrooms, onions and thyme. Cook until tender.
  • Pour over fish and bake in 450 degree oven for 12-18 minutes. Fish should flake easily with a fork when done.

If you are lucky enough to have a surplus of morels this year there are many ways to preserve them. I have tried just about everything, and several methods work.

1. I thoroughly rinse the mushrooms in cold water. Then sauté in butter for no longer than 3 minutes. Let cool and place in a zip lock baggie with juices from pan. When you are ready to eat, cut off the plastic bag and place the whole frozen block in a skillet. Cover and cook on low. Tastes just like fresh, with a slight difference in firmness and texture.

2. I have dried them on a string in the attic for a month, I have laid them on the oven rack and dried them at 160 degrees for about an hour. I have laid them on window screens out in the back yard until dry. I have never owned a dehydrator, so that’s the only method I haven’t used. Of everything I’ve tried, threading them onto a string (like a little mini-clothes line) was by far the best. When rehydrated the taste and texture was exactly the same as fresh out of the ground. Maybe because no heat is used?

3. I have washed and drained the mushrooms so they are almost dry. Then laid them on a cookie sheet and placed them in the freezer until solid. Pack into bags and vacuüm seal. This method changed the texture a bit, but the flavor was the same.

4. My least favorite method was packing a mason jar (or other freezer container) with mushrooms, covering that with cold water and freezing. They would be ok for soup, but the texture was too mushy for my tastes. And a lot of the flavor gets dumped out with the water after thawing.

Happy mushroom hunting!

Homemade Cocktail Sauce (and how to prepare horseradish)

We do love our shrimp around here. We have actually just had shrimp with cocktail sauce and a few bits of crackers and cheese for dinner before. Delicious.

Cocktail Sauce

1 cup ketchup (i actually still buy this from the store, because we hardly ever use it)

1 Tbsp horseradish, pureed in the food processor

1 tsp chili powder

1 Tbsp lemon or lime juice

1 tsp homemade Worcestershire sauce

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp fresh black pepper

Mix all ingredients and keep in an airtight jar in the fridge. Keeps for 2-3 weeks. This also freezes very well. Rob loves his really spicy, so I usually purée a whole piece of horseradish, so he can add more to his plate.

To Prepare Horseradish

Wash and peel the root with a veggie peeler

Cut into chunks

Place in food processor and add 1 Tbsp of water. Puree (protect your eyes!) and add 1 Tbsp white vinegar and a dash of salt. Add more water if you like it thinner. This will keep for 30 days in the refrigerator. It also freezes very well.

A word about shrimp. Well, a few words….

#1 Choice: Wild Caught off the coast of the Pacific Northwest or the Northeast coasts of the USA and Canada, using live traps (not trawlers). Our favorites are Bay Shrimp, Cocktail Shrimp, Northern Shrimp, Pink Shrimp and Rock Shrimp. They are slightly more expensive, but the taste is worth it! And you are supporting fisherman who believe in treating the animal, and the ocean with respect. Instead of big trawling boats, these people use old-fashioned live traps and no other fish are harmed or killed in the process. A few good sources are U.S Wellness Meats, Fishhawk Fisheries, Hallmark Fisheries and Pacific Seafood Group Inc.

#2 Choice: Wild Caught off the coast of the Pacific Northwest or Northeast, using trawling methods (very wasteful, all the other fish caught in the net are thrown out)

#3 Choice: Organically farmed in the USA (strict regulations and pretty close nutritionally)

#4 Choice: Wild Caught off the Gulf of Mexico. They say the shrimp are safe to eat after the oil spills, but I’m still not comfortable with it.

Avoid at all costs: Any seafood farmed in Asia or Latin America. They have no regulations and use very complex chemical cocktails, containing many pesticides and antibiotics. They are also doing much harm to the surrounding environment using devastating farming practices. Unfortunately 90% of shrimp sold in the USA comes from these sub-standard shrimp farms.  Red Lobster endless shrimp days anyone?

Shrimp season is from April through October, so buy high-quality shrimp in bulk during that time to save money.

%d bloggers like this: