Road trips into the wilds of field and stream are favorites of outdoorsmen. And everyone must provide sustenance for themselves. Packing along a few tools of the trade can make turning the catch into an in-camp culinary delight in short order.
Plastic tubs or totes are the perfect camp cook kit organizer. The tubs are durable and come with a lid to keep dust and unwanted critters out of the cook box. You can literally go from fishing to feasting in a matter of minutes with the following gear.
- A single burner stove
- Fillet knife
- Small mixing bowl or baggies
- 9-inch non-stick frying pan with spatula, tongs or skimmer
- Fillet gloves
- Paper towels
- Small cutting board
- Garbage bags
- Small bottle cooking oil
Handle your catch gently. Tossing fish into the live well or dangling them on a stringer will bruise them, which is a collection of blood. Such bruises cause a stronger flavor. To avoid bruised fish, simply thump your catch on the head lightly. Fish are easy to dispatch. Next, place the fish on ice in a cooler and clean your catch immediately after you return to dock. This simple process will insure the best tasting fish possible.
Impromptu fish fries are often adjudicated to the use of small fish, such as crappie and bluegill. Keeping your fillet knife sharp will insure that you get the most meat possible from the carcass.
It isn't a crime to simply scale and gut smaller fish and fry them hole. There is great appeal in watching fish with the fins on them sizzle in a frying pan.
Fish Batters and Corn Meal
A simple corn meal mix is quicker and easier when cooking in a camp setting. Small bags of white or yellow corn meal can be found at most grocery stores. Dredge your catch in the meal. Test the hot oil with a small piece of fish at first to make sure it is hot enough, or carry a thermometer and add fish at 350 degrees. They are done when they turn a golden brown. Don't overcook for the best fish flavor.
A huge variety of mixes and batters are commercially available. Most come in small packets, which are ideal for camp. Experimenting with new mixes can add a little extra fun and flavor to your fish fry.
Condiments With Your Fish Meal
A man can live on fish alone, but simple additions go a long way toward turning a sufficient meal into a delectable one. Hushpuppy mixes are great additions, as are small bowls of prepared macaroni salad, potato salad or even a can of pork and beans. Add a cold drink and your meal is complete.
Toss in the scenery of your favorite fishing spot and you have created another great outdoor memory.