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From the Lake to Your Plate – Easy Local Fish Recipes

As a child growing up in Door County, I bobber-fished from town docks for bass, perch and sunfish. We used worms from the corner gas station, sitting for what seemed like an eternity (but was probably about 15 minutes).

I had the occasional opportunity to go lake fishing. This included down riggers, fish finders, brown trout, chinook, rainbows and quality time with my dad. What an exhilarating feeling landing your fish!

(OK, most of the time I drove the boat while others fished, also exhilarating for a 12-year-old.)

The fun doesn’t stop with the catch, however. Here are some simple fish recipes using locally caught fish. If the act of fishing doesn’t appeal to you, the fish used in the following recipes can all be found at the local fish markets that dot the peninsula.

Bon appetit!

Grilled Whitefish

2 whitefish fillets (guaranteed fresh whitefish can be found at Charlie’s Smokehouse in Gills Rock and Hickey Bros. Fish Market, Baileys Harbor, during the season)

olive oil

salt and pepper

juice of 1 lemon

Rub the fish down on both sides with olive oil, salt and pepper; then, spritz each fillet with the juice of the lemon.

Make sure the coals are white hot or for a gas grill medium high to high heat works best. Place the fillets on the grill skin-side down, cook for about five minutes. Flip the fillets and cook for about four more minutes.

Do not flip more than one time, whitefish is delicate. Top with tartar sauce, pesto, fresh lemon juice or fruity salsa and enjoy!

Note: You may want to cut the fillets in half to make them easier to handle while grilling.

Smoked Salmon and Olive Tapenade Spread

8 oz cream cheese (room temperature)

¼ cup sour cream

2 oz feta cheese

¼ cup olive tapenade (green, black or kalamata olives and capers chopped fine – make your own or buy a jar from the store)

chopped fresh parsley, thyme and oregano

½ tsp dry mustard

¼ lb smoked salmon

salt and pepper

In a bowl, mix cream cheese, sour cream and feta cheese together until well blended. Add the olive tapenade, herbs and dry mustard. Mix. Using a fork, flake the salmon into the cream cheese mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Make this spread the day before so the flavors have a chance to blend. Serve with your favorite crackers or crusty bread. Great for a picnic!

Smoked Salmon Roasted Asparagus and Parmesan Omelet

(Amounts of ingredients are per omelet)

2 eggs

smoked salmon, flaked with a fork

3-4 spears of roasted asparagus

Parmesan cheese curls

salt and pepper to taste

The trick to making a great omelet is the pan. An 8-inch non-stick pan coated with olive oil works best.

Heat the pan and oil to medium-high heat. Whip the eggs with a splash of milk, then pour the egg mixture into the pan. Stay close, it will cook fast. Swirl the eggs in the pan as they cook in 2-3 minutes. Flip the eggs once they solidfy. Add the omelet ingredients: smoked salmon, asparagus and Parmesan cheese. Fold the eggs over the ingredients and remove from the pan. Finish with dill aioli.

Dill Aioli

1 Tbs mayonnaise

2 Tbs sour cream

juice of ½ lemon

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 tsp dry dill

Salt and pepper

Whisk all ingredients together.