Jun 9, 2009

Worm Guts

Went fishing a few days ago. Got home from work, changed into old, ratty jeans that I can no longer wear in public (but fishing is fine) and my "fishin' shirt" and headed out with the family. We got out to our X Spot and I opened the container of worms. "The Boy" reached in and picked a big, fat, juicy night crawler. Too juicy perhaps. The first piece I pinched off (if you don't fish, I'm still talking about the worm) splattered worm guts all over me and my husband who was about a foot and a half away. Normally, this kind of thing would not make me too happy (yeah, what am I trying to pull here? This kind of thing doesn't bother me at all). But, I was fishing and fishing makes me happy. Maybe a little superstitious too...note the previously mentioned special fishing shirt and X Spot. Maybe a worm gut facial was a good sign. I mean, what fish wouldn't want to snack on a plump, ripe, juicy worm?

And if you're wrinkling your nose up over worm guts in a cooking blog, ya'll better skip on over the next paragraph. Fair warning. But now you probably aren't going to skip. Right? That's what I was aiming for.
The Boy caught the first one, which is an honor in itself. In my family, we always keep track of who caught the first one, who caught the first keeper, the biggest, and so on. We may not know when that thing is for that person we talked to one day some time ago, but we are detail oriented when it comes to our fishing. So anyway, I grabbed the fish to unhook it for him and the fish decided to fight back the best way he knew how. Which was to pee on me. So now my fingers are stained with dirt and worm guts, I have worm guts on my face and in my hair, and fish pee running down my arm. Awesome.

Obtaining food is not always pretty. Or clean.
But I'm fishing so I don't mind.
I've always loved fishing. There's the idea of self sufficiency. And sometimes it really is only an idea. But there's also the calm and beautiful setting where you can seriously consider who you are and what you've done and where you're going...you know...just sit and think...(or not have to). Then again, there's also the jolt of something biting and the anticipation of reeling it in. And the excited child-like questions: What is it? How big? Is it a keeper? Better not be a turtle.

Don't get me wrong, I like where I'm living now on the Cajun Prairie. But the one thing that eats at me is that aside from the man-made crawfish ponds, there isn't much water here. A few bayous but that's it. I grew up in a boat. Even played in the boat when it was on the trailer in the driveway. I grew up fishing the marshes surrounding New Orleans for redfish, drum, sheepshead, speckled trout. And the freshwater canals in Lafitte for bass and perch (or bream or sun perch, depending on where you're from). Some people are drawn to one or the other. My dad loves the salt because of the fight the larger fish give. My husband goes for freshwater because of the scenery. I don't really care what the salt content of the water is as long as I'm on it.
Fishing camps are a way of life in South LA. Many families will be "at the camp" this weekend and most other weekends too. If you aren't lucky enough to own a camp or know someone who does, there are many for rent. My family, one of my brothers, my nephew, and my mom and dad spent this past Thanksgiving at a fishing camp. Out in the boat fishing all day, get back to the camp and cook what you just pulled in. Take a little rest. Fish off the dock all night. Yeah, you right! All the worm guts and fish pee are worth it.
Some people really do it up big time when they go to the camp. I prefer to...well...not do it up. I don't need some fancy outdoor kitchen or sound system. A fish cleaning sink would be nice. But all I really need are the basics.

This is how I like to cook fish at the camp: simple. No need to (over)pack a bunch of pots and pans and gadgets. Frying pan and spatula. That is all. No need to (over)plan ahead and study recipes. Butter, olive oil, Cajun seasoning. Maybe a lemon if I feel like cuttin' loose. All things I'd bring along anyway. My mom came up with it and I call it Camp Fish. Simple. Easy. Cook. Eat. Get back to concentrating on the fishing. Or washing off the pee. Whichever.

This dish couldn't be easier.  

Which is why I'm sharing it with Simple Supper Tuesday at 
Hun...What's for Dinner
 photo SimpleSupperTuesday_zps93ff0e49.jpg

Camp Fish
from Ms. enPlace

olive oil
fish fillets (fresh is best)
Cajun/Creole Seasoning
Lemon (optional)
frying pan

Add roughly equal parts butter and olive oil to the pan and heat until butter is melted. You just need enough to cover the bottom. In the meantime, season both sides of the fish fillets with your favorite Cajun or Creole seasoning--as much or as little as you can handle. When the butter/oil mixture is hot, add fillets to pan. Cook on the first side until a little color develops. Flip and cook until fish is cooked throughout, but don't overcook. Squirt with some lemon juice if that's your thing. Serve immediately.
Yep. That's all you need. That's why I like to make this at the camp. I don't want to have to chop a bunch of stuff and spend a lot of time working on the meal when I could better spend that time fishing.

The way I gauge when the oil and butter is hot enough: when the butter gets foamy.

Add the seasoned fillets and cook. It's fast. It's easy.

Squeeze on some lemon juice if you want and go to town. And it's good for breakfast too.

1 comment:

  1. Oh geez, the title of your post is deceiving, LOL. We love to prepare fish this way. So quick and easy, yet to yummy. Thanks for linking up, Michelle!


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