Desert Fish Feast

Desert Lil's Delicacies - A DUSA Food Feature

Fishing in the desertDesert rivers, lakes and streams offer anglers great adventure. They also provide a plentiful source, of nutritious food which can be delightful when cooked over the campfire, in your RV or back in your own kitchen.

Both Lake Mead and Lake Powell on the Colorado River, are stocked with Channel Catfish, Blue Gill, Crappie, and Striped, Large- and Small-mouthed Bass. Lake Mead is also stocked with Rainbow Trout while Walleye Pike are plentiful in Lake Powell.

Quite often, one of the easiest and most delicious ways of preparing fish is to take it fresh from lake or stream, clean it and fry it over a campfire in a frying pan with oil, salt, pepper and lemon.

If you're looking for some more exotic recipes, try these below. The recipes below assume that you already know how to catch, clean, skin/scale and filet different varieties of fish.

Walleyed Veracruz
Serves 4

  • 2 lbs Walleyed Pike fillets
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 med-sized onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup green olives with pimento, sliced
  • 1/4 cup green chiles, diced
  • 3 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp capers
  • Juice of 1 lime

Heat oil in large frying pan till hot, then add red bell pepper, onion, garlic and cook till soft. Add pepper, lime juice, cinnamon, olives, chiles, and tomatoes, then bring to boil until thickened, about 15 minutes.

Place filets on lightly greased baking dish just large enough to hold them, and cover with sauce. Bake at 350 F. 10 to 15 minutes till done. Sprinkle with capers before serving.

Cilantro-Lime Trout
Serves 4

  • 2 lbs Trout fillets
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup green onions (including tops), chopped
  • 1 pickled jalapeno chile, diced
  • 3/4 cup cilantro (chopped)

In a bowl, combine all ingredients except the fish. Place fish filets in a baking dish, skin side down, then cover with Cilantro-Lime salsa. Refrigerate from 2 to 24 hours. Bake uncovered in a 350-degree oven 20-30 minutes.

Catfish Parmesan
Serves 4

  • 2 lbs Catfish fillets
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 cup Parmesan and/or Romano cheese (grated)
  • Fresh-ground pepper

With oil and butter in skillet bring to a medium/hot temperature. Combine lemon juice and soy sauce and sprinkle on fish. Add pepper to taste then cover with flour. Dip in eggs, then cover completely with grated cheese. Fry in hot oil for 5 minutes per side, until golden brown.

Blue Gill Artichoke
Serves 4

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs Blue Gill or Crappie
  • 1/4 lb mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1 small jar pickled artichoke hearts
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup green onions, diced
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp corn starch
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Place all mushrooms, onions, thyme, cayenne, artichoke hearts and juice in a saucepan and simmer for 20 minutes Heat skillet to medium, add oil, and place salt-and-peppered fish in to fry 5 minutes per side. Mix cornstarch into wine and stir slowly into sauce until thick. Ladle sauce over fish when serving.


Complete Index of Desert Lil's Delicacies


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