Simple, yet delectable ways to prepare your freshly caught fish.

By Emily Hare

What is your ideal cabin setting? The answer to that question can vary widely from person to person. Some would say deep in the woods or high up in the mountains. Overwhelmingly popular among cabin owners is lakefront property, where boating, swimming and fishing are just steps away.

But you don’t have to be on a lake to enjoy water-based activities. If your cabin is located on a river or stream, then you probably enjoy aspects like the soothing sound of water trickling (or rushing) past or the thrills of exploring from the seat of a canoe, kayak or raft.

Then there’s the fishing. For the characters in the novel “A River Runs Through It,” fishing is likened to religion. As the author Norman Maclean wrote, “One great thing about fly fishing is that after a while nothing exists of the world but thoughts about fly fishing.”

River fishing is enjoyable in itself, but the true reward is in tasting the delicate, flaky texture of the day’s catch. Salmon and trout, in particular, are substantial enough to stand up to rich, flavorful sauces, but they can also taste divine when grilled with nothing more than a dash of salt and pepper.

Many recipes, like those shown here, work well with either salmon or trout as the main star, so it doesn’t really matter which one happens to be biting (or is available fresh at your local market).


Easy-Cedar-Plank-Salmon-8Easy Cedar Plank Salmon

Serves 4

1 cedar plank (16×7)
1 lb. wild caught skin-on salmon filet
2 tbsp. Cajun seasoning
Salt
Ground pepper
1 tsp. fresh parsley, chopped
½ lemon

  • Soak the plank in water for at least 1 hour. (If you have time, soak it for 4 hours.) A good way to do this is to fill your kitchen sink with water and use canned goods as weights to keep the plank submerged.
  • Meanwhile, rub the Cajun seasoning, salt and ground pepper over the salmon.
  • Preheat the grill* on high heat. Place the soaked plank on the grill for about 3-5 minutes, or until it begins to crackle and smoke. Place the salmon fillet skin side down on the plank.
  • Cook for 12-20 minutes, or until salmon flakes easily (actual cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fillet).
  • Garnish with fresh parsley and squeeze lemon over salmon before serving.

*You also can make this recipe in the oven. Preheat to 350°F. Place the plank in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove it from the oven and place the salmon skin-side down on plank. Bake for about 17 minutes.

Cooking fish on a cedar plank lends a beautiful smoky flavor to the fillet. The plank also protects the salmon from direct heat and preserves the moisture inside. Serve the salmon with a side of salad or on a bed of rice or quinoa.

Recipe & photo used with permission from the blog “Primavera Kitchen,” primaverakitchen.com.

Recipe & photo used with permission from Harvest to Heat: Cooking with America’s Best Chefs, Farmers, and Artisans, by Darryl Estrine and Kelly Kochendorfer, The Taunton Press (taunton.com), 2010. Jon Wallach, owner of Eden Brook Fish Company in Monticello, N.Y., supplied the trout for this recipe.


The Cabin Standby

One of my favorite ways to prepare oily fish like salmon is to wrap skin-on fillets in foil packets. To enhance the flavor of the fish, I include a few simple ingredients, drawing inspiration from whatever happens to be in my cabin pantry at the time. I like to season with salt and pepper, then add a few pats of butter (or a drizzle of olive oil), a few slices of lemon and maybe a sprig of dill or thyme.

I roll the edges of the foil together to seal the packet, then place the packet in a preheated oven (400°F), on the grill over medium heat or over a campfire. Cooking time is usually 15-20 minutes, but it can vary according to your heat source and the thickness of the fish.


Whiskey Sour Punch

After a day on the river, there’s nothing better than a refreshing cocktail. This large-batch recipe makes it easy to serve up happy hour libations to your angler buddies.

WhiskeySourPunch_Hero

2 ½ cups Florida orange juice
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1 cup bourbon
1 cup triple sec
½ cup lemon juice
3 cups lemon-flavored sparkling water
Mint

In a microwave-safe cup, mix water and sugar together to develop simple syrup. Microwave simple syrup for 2 minutes. Bring to room temperature. In a pitcher, combine simple syrup, Florida orange juice, bourbon, triple sec and lemon juice. Stir well. Right before serving, add sparkling water. Serve over ice.

Tip! For a twist, replace the lemon-flavored sparkling water with your favorite flavor of sparkling water.


Roasted Trout with Herb-Champagne Vinaigrette

HTH_TroutFor the vinaigrette:
1 cup chopped fresh chervil or chives
¾ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tablespoons roughly chopped shallots (about 1 shallot)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or white-wine vinegar
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • In a microwave-safe cup, mix water and sugar together to develop simple syrup. Microwave simple syrup for 2 minutes. Bring to room temperature. In a pitcher, combine simple syrup, Florida orange juice, bourbon, triple sec and lemon juice. Stir well. Right before serving, add sparkling water. Serve over ice.
  • To make the vinaigrette, put the chervil or chives, parsley, shallots, lemon juice, vinegar, and ½ cup of the olive oil in a blender and purée. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl, stir in the remaining oil and then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Sprinkle the inside of the trout with salt and pepper. Arrange in a glass baking dish and spoon about half of the vinaigrette over the trout, both on the inside and the outside. Rub the vinaigrette into the fish. Wrap the fish with butcher’s twine across the body to close the cavity. Cover the trout and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Heat the oven to 500°F. Transfer the fish to a rack in a roasting pan and roast for 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the size of the trout, until the flesh is firm and translucent.

Serve immediately with the remaining vinaigrette spooned over the top as a sauce.
Recipe & photo used with permission from Harvest to Heat: Cooking with America’s Best Chefs, Farmers, and Artisans, by Darryl Estrine and Kelly Kochendorfer, The Taunton Press (taunton.com), 2010. Jon Wallach, owner of Eden Brook Fish Company in Monticello, N.Y., supplied the trout for this recipe.