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Food Fight Friday: Baked White Bass vs Barbecued Honker

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October 04, 2013

Food Fight Friday: Baked White Bass vs Barbecued Honker

By David Draper

This time of year a lot of sportsmen get so focused on hunting they forget fall is one of the best times to go fishing. Not Wild Chef reader nuclear_fisher, who sent in a photo of the white bass he boated for this week’s Food Fight. His opponent, reader Pat Chapin, prefers the goose fields of fall and his dish reflects that passion. Each looks good enough that I might vote for a surf-n-turf combo.
 
nuclear_fisher’s Baked White Bass

A friend and I caught some white bass over the weekend and I baked a few in the lime-sour cream sauce recommended in Gene Kugach's Fishing Tips for Freshwater, topped with a bit of grated rind, baked carrots and couscous on the side and a pint of Torpedo IPA for extra credit. Nothing too fancy, but they really turned out quite nice.
 
Pat Chapin’s Barbecued Honker

The major components of the marinade are lemon juice, soya sauce, Worcestershire sauce, parsley flakes, garlic powder, and black pepper. I cut each half breast lengthwise into four strips plus the "fingers" that lie against the keel bone.  Also on the plate: homemade bread, slice of Canadian smoked Gouda cheese, and broccoli steamed with shredded cheddar. For desert, homemade shortbread topped with a generous dollop of whipped "calf slobber" and frozen blueberries.
 
Don’t forget, we’ll feature your best fish and wild game photos here. Just send them, along with a short description or recipe, to fswildchef@gmail.com.

Comments (10)

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from smccardell wrote 27 weeks 6 days ago

I am always the first to choose honker over other game meat. In this case the recipe sounds good, but the goose looks dry to me. It's best served rare to medium rare. So my vote is for the white bass!

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from Dangle wrote 27 weeks 5 days ago

White bass baked also sounds overcooked, and dry. I'd have to have lots of whine, preferably before that dish.

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from Neil J. Selbicky wrote 27 weeks 5 days ago

Let me whine in on this one too. Is it possible to cook the goose breast like a chicken breast with the skin on? I haven't cooked a goose in a long time (something I intend to change this Fall.) Is there fat enough on the goose to have it dark and crunchy on the outside, but rare and juicy on the inside? I voted for the goose. Don't know which my wife will vote for yet?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nuclear_fisher wrote 27 weeks 5 days ago

Sayfu, it really wan't dry. And I've overcooked a fillet or two. I assume the ample layer of sour cream sauce helped with that. This was the first time I've actually targeted, kept and prepared white bass so I was more worried about them not tasting well at all (some websites compare them to carp) so I wanted to follow cooking instructions that I had some faith in, and I have no complaints.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 27 weeks 5 days ago

Neil, I know something about preparing Canada goose. Tried multiple options over the last forty years. To answer your questions: first, you'll want to get the skin off. Grease is mostly in there and goose grease is not nearly as delectable as chicken fat. Secondly, it's a very dense meat. If the breast meat is not cut into thin slices you'll have to burn it on the BBQ to get it cooked thoroughly. Best to tenderize the strips by beating them with the edge of a Corelware plate (it won't break) before tossing into marinade. Especially if it's a big old bird. Yes, this honker looks maybe a bit overdone. It happens to me quite frequently when I try cooking honker strips on BBQ in the pitch dark after finishing up cleaning the mess of geese shot earlier in the day.

By golly, I recognize the placemat for the honker meal. It's a federal government waterfowl feather/wing survey envelope. Our Ducks Unlimited banquet is coming up next month. I think I'll give the organizer a call and see if she will pick up some of these for banquet placemats. Would be a GREAT thing give out.

By the way, I also bone out the thighs and drumsticks. Thigh meat will go on BBQ or into smokies sausages. Drumstick meat is canned in jars and added to dry dog food as a supplement when the pooches are working hard. The stuff is quite sinewy.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Neil J. Selbicky wrote 27 weeks 5 days ago

Ontario Honker, I hear you on the effort to do all the things right after a long day afield. 20, 30, 40, 50, or 6o years old, at the end of the perfect day we all can get a bit tuckered out.

Yeah, I'm going to try some Canada goose this year. Last time I baked one (some years ago) it didn't turn out all that impressive. This year I'll try a new recipe. Sometime during the Holidays!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 27 weeks 5 days ago

Neil, try this marinade recipe. I have put it up on here before.

3/4 cup cooking oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup soya sauce
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons parsley flakes (don't skip this!)
1 teaspoon garlic powder (more or less depending on your preference)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped onions (more or less depending on quality of onions available and personal taste)

Cut the meat into strips and soak in the marinade for a day or two in a cool place (fridge is okay but make sure top is covered or wife will shoot you for stinking it up - also never soak anything containing lemon juice in metal container). Then BBQ.

Yeah, roast goose is something one has to develop a taste for. And it can take some effort. You will find this method much more palatable.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 27 weeks 4 days ago

Nuclear...caught a lot of white bass in my day as a young fellow fishing Lake Erie. We'd see the minnows churning up the surface, and knew the White bass were after them. We'd follow in a small boat casting with a float for weight., and a white dart. It was bass after bass if you could stay in the frenzy. We considered them too bony, and poor table fair, and never kept any.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 27 weeks 3 days ago

Hmmm. I note that the blueberry desert was cropped out of the image. Did it really look that unappetizing? :)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from E.J.H wrote 24 weeks 3 days ago

Great looking dish! You can over flow several coolers with white bass at the tail end of the walleye run in the Sandusky river. Keep them on ice or you with end up with mushy fish.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Ontario Honker ... wrote 27 weeks 5 days ago

Neil, I know something about preparing Canada goose. Tried multiple options over the last forty years. To answer your questions: first, you'll want to get the skin off. Grease is mostly in there and goose grease is not nearly as delectable as chicken fat. Secondly, it's a very dense meat. If the breast meat is not cut into thin slices you'll have to burn it on the BBQ to get it cooked thoroughly. Best to tenderize the strips by beating them with the edge of a Corelware plate (it won't break) before tossing into marinade. Especially if it's a big old bird. Yes, this honker looks maybe a bit overdone. It happens to me quite frequently when I try cooking honker strips on BBQ in the pitch dark after finishing up cleaning the mess of geese shot earlier in the day.

By golly, I recognize the placemat for the honker meal. It's a federal government waterfowl feather/wing survey envelope. Our Ducks Unlimited banquet is coming up next month. I think I'll give the organizer a call and see if she will pick up some of these for banquet placemats. Would be a GREAT thing give out.

By the way, I also bone out the thighs and drumsticks. Thigh meat will go on BBQ or into smokies sausages. Drumstick meat is canned in jars and added to dry dog food as a supplement when the pooches are working hard. The stuff is quite sinewy.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 27 weeks 5 days ago

Neil, try this marinade recipe. I have put it up on here before.

3/4 cup cooking oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup soya sauce
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
3 tablespoons parsley flakes (don't skip this!)
1 teaspoon garlic powder (more or less depending on your preference)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped onions (more or less depending on quality of onions available and personal taste)

Cut the meat into strips and soak in the marinade for a day or two in a cool place (fridge is okay but make sure top is covered or wife will shoot you for stinking it up - also never soak anything containing lemon juice in metal container). Then BBQ.

Yeah, roast goose is something one has to develop a taste for. And it can take some effort. You will find this method much more palatable.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from smccardell wrote 27 weeks 6 days ago

I am always the first to choose honker over other game meat. In this case the recipe sounds good, but the goose looks dry to me. It's best served rare to medium rare. So my vote is for the white bass!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 27 weeks 5 days ago

White bass baked also sounds overcooked, and dry. I'd have to have lots of whine, preferably before that dish.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Neil J. Selbicky wrote 27 weeks 5 days ago

Let me whine in on this one too. Is it possible to cook the goose breast like a chicken breast with the skin on? I haven't cooked a goose in a long time (something I intend to change this Fall.) Is there fat enough on the goose to have it dark and crunchy on the outside, but rare and juicy on the inside? I voted for the goose. Don't know which my wife will vote for yet?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nuclear_fisher wrote 27 weeks 5 days ago

Sayfu, it really wan't dry. And I've overcooked a fillet or two. I assume the ample layer of sour cream sauce helped with that. This was the first time I've actually targeted, kept and prepared white bass so I was more worried about them not tasting well at all (some websites compare them to carp) so I wanted to follow cooking instructions that I had some faith in, and I have no complaints.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Neil J. Selbicky wrote 27 weeks 5 days ago

Ontario Honker, I hear you on the effort to do all the things right after a long day afield. 20, 30, 40, 50, or 6o years old, at the end of the perfect day we all can get a bit tuckered out.

Yeah, I'm going to try some Canada goose this year. Last time I baked one (some years ago) it didn't turn out all that impressive. This year I'll try a new recipe. Sometime during the Holidays!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Dangle wrote 27 weeks 4 days ago

Nuclear...caught a lot of white bass in my day as a young fellow fishing Lake Erie. We'd see the minnows churning up the surface, and knew the White bass were after them. We'd follow in a small boat casting with a float for weight., and a white dart. It was bass after bass if you could stay in the frenzy. We considered them too bony, and poor table fair, and never kept any.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 27 weeks 3 days ago

Hmmm. I note that the blueberry desert was cropped out of the image. Did it really look that unappetizing? :)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from E.J.H wrote 24 weeks 3 days ago

Great looking dish! You can over flow several coolers with white bass at the tail end of the walleye run in the Sandusky river. Keep them on ice or you with end up with mushy fish.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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