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Old 04-13-2012, 07:42 PM   #1
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So big for so little.

My dousing went fishing (while I was working, of course) and caught a mess of whitefish, too many for himself. His wife called and asked if I'd take some. Of course I agreed. What I didn't know is that I was to receive about 15 large fish. I thought I was in whitefish heaven, even if I did have to clean them.

I started by removing the head, and gutting them. Then, I thorougly washed them inside and out. Next, I filet'd them. And then came the tedious part, picking out the pin bones with pliers. After that was finished, I just skinned them, washed them, and put them into water-filled zipper-freezer bags. I have about 4 quart-bags of fish for my efforts.

What I don't like about fillets and skinning fish is that you get so little meat compared to the fish size. When I clean and dress brook trout, I have a fish that's between 8 and 12 inches in length, by two inches from belly to dorsal fin. The fish is baout 1/4 inch thick. The white fish were equal to about 4 brookies in size, but deliverd about the same amount of meat. And my fillet's were clean, very little meat stuck to the skelleton.

Male whole, just cleaned, and with the head removed. I can smoke those, skin on. Sounds like a good idea to me.

Well with that idea, I've only got two more fish to clean, fillet, and skin, rather than six.

Oh, and I'm trying an experiment. I'm boiling up the heads, skins, guts, and skeletons to make an intense broth. I'm going to purchace minnow molds online, and later, add unflavored gelatin and coloring to make my own artificial, biodegradable lures, that will taste and smell like food, to bigger fish. The trick will be to get just enough gelatine in the mix, or maybe a combination of gelatine, and pectin, to get the right flexibility, and texture. Wish me luck.

Question; would the cooked fish solids do good things to my veggie garden soil?

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North

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Old 04-13-2012, 08:48 PM   #2
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I have a BIL and a neighbor that filets Bluegill bream...If you can believe that!!!
Talk about time and effort for so little....Me I scale, remove the head, gut, and fry...The small or medium ones you can eat most of the bones...Crunch Crunch!!

IMO any organic matter added to soil is a good thing...or certainly can't hurt.
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:12 PM   #3
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My only concern with putting non composted fish in the garden is that it might attract critters.
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:54 PM   #4
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Native Americans for many years planted everything with a dead fish carcass. Fish emulsion is wonderful fertilizer.
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Old 04-14-2012, 01:46 AM   #5
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Thanks Uncle Bob, TaxLady, and Dawglover. I figure that I'll freeze the fish solids until I'm ready to till them into the ground. As for the fish fillets, if I wasn't so in love with brookies, and swordfish, I could really get used to eating whitefish. Those babies are great, mild, not fishy (oily), and very tender/flaky.

Of course I had to try something a little different with my fish. I cut one of the fillets in half, seasoned with S&P, dredged in flour, and pan fried in an inch of hot oil. They were as expected, very good. The second fillet was large enough to cut into three pieces. I marinated them in a bowl filled with 2 tbs. Sriracha Sauce, 2 tbs. soy sauce, and 1 tsp. Tabasco Sauce, and 2 tsp. lime juice. I let them sit in the marinade for about five minutes, making sure they were well coated. I figured the Soy would add enough saltiness to the fish. After they sat in the marinade long enough to be completely coated, with a little sinking into the flesh, I dredged them in flour and pan fried.

The flavor was everything I'd hoped for. The marinade didn't hide the delicate fish flavor, but rather, it accented it. There was just a hint of lime, and a little kick that grew on you as you ate more of the fish. It was very good.

Uncle Bob, I made this batch with your Southern sensibilities in mind. I think you would like this treatment. And the bluegill/bream you were talking about, well they are very mild, like our yellow perch, and smallmouth bass. This marinade would work well with them. I think catfish would be a natural with this as well. All in all, I'm a satisfied home chef tonight. Now, if only I had some sweet potato pie.

Oh, and that word in the first post - dousing, well that was supposed to be - cousin. Talk about your typos.

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:35 AM   #6
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Fresh Whole Baked Fish in White Wine & Herbs

Good Morning,

Good post. T.U.

One of life´s greatest pleasures, is freshly caught fish baked in white wine, fresh herbs of choice, 1 tomato, EVOO, a bit of garlic and fresh lemon or lime juice, a bit of onion, a little basil, oregano, salt and white pepper ... A sprinkle of home made bread crumbs on top are an option too ... Very few things are better. Another option is Capers, green or gold or red bell pepper slices julienne ... I do not like to disguise the taste of a fine and fresh caught white fish or salmon ... the simpler the better.

Have a nice wkend.
Margi.
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taxlady View Post
My only concern with putting non composted fish in the garden is that it might attract critters.

My Mom tried that and it was always dug up by the next morning.
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:54 PM   #8
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A couple years ago we were doing a lot of fishing. Decided to put the leftovers from the filets in the garden. They must have been deep enough because they didn't get dug up by critters. It took two years for the skeletons to break down. I noticed some when we planted last year.
We didn't cook it down or compost it that year.

Also, wanted to mention, that when we filet, we don't cut off the head, we just filet off each side close to the bone and then strip off the skin from the filet with the knife. We don't gut the fish at all. We don't take off scales either.
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Old 04-14-2012, 06:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief Longwind Of The North View Post
My dousing went fishing (while I was working, of course) and caught a mess of whitefish, too many for himself. His wife called and asked if I'd take some. Of course I agreed. What I didn't know is that I was to receive about 15 large fish. I thought I was in whitefish heaven, even if I did have to clean them.

I started by removing the head, and gutting them. Then, I thorougly washed them inside and out. Next, I filet'd them. And then came the tedious part, picking out the pin bones with pliers. After that was finished, I just skinned them, washed them, and put them into water-filled zipper-freezer bags. I have about 4 quart-bags of fish for my efforts.

What I don't like about fillets and skinning fish is that you get so little meat compared to the fish size. When I clean and dress brook trout, I have a fish that's between 8 and 12 inches in length, by two inches from belly to dorsal fin. The fish is baout 1/4 inch thick. The white fish were equal to about 4 brookies in size, but deliverd about the same amount of meat. And my fillet's were clean, very little meat stuck to the skelleton.

Male whole, just cleaned, and with the head removed. I can smoke those, skin on. Sounds like a good idea to me.

Well with that idea, I've only got two more fish to clean, fillet, and skin, rather than six.

Oh, and I'm trying an experiment. I'm boiling up the heads, skins, guts, and skeletons to make an intense broth. I'm going to purchace minnow molds online, and later, add unflavored gelatin and coloring to make my own artificial, biodegradable lures, that will taste and smell like food, to bigger fish. The trick will be to get just enough gelatine in the mix, or maybe a combination of gelatine, and pectin, to get the right flexibility, and texture. Wish me luck.

Question; would the cooked fish solids do good things to my veggie garden soil?

Seeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North
Remember, the Native Americans taught the Pilgrims to use Cod for fertilizer. It was what saved them from starvation. Create a compost pile with wet newspapers (no colored sheets, comics, etc) and your fish leavings. You will end up with such rich soil loaded with worms.
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