Three great recipes you can make in the field.
Spiced Fish Wraps With Slaw
A great thing about wrap sandwiches is that you can eat them with one hand, leaving the other free to grab a rod and set the hook. And these fish wraps are just as easy to make with a brace of bluegills as with a bragging-size walleye. To make it practically foolproof, buy coleslaw from the grocery store instead of whipping up your own, and stow it in a cooler until you’re ready to eat.
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons of your favorite seasoning spice mix
4 half-pound fish fillets
1 tablespoon butter
4 8-inch flour tortillas
In the field
Catch and fillet the fish. Mix the flour and spice mix in a plastic or paper bag, then add the pieces one at a time and shake to coat them. Melt butter in a skillet, and saut¿¿ them until done. Place one fillet in a flour tortilla, top it with slaw, roll it up, and scarf it down. Repeat as necessary.
Blackening fish produces copious amounts of smoke, sizzling meat, extremely hot pans, and a burning need for blistered-lip beer therapy. In other words, it’s perfect for car camping. The experts will insist on firm flesh like that of a redfish or halibut. But catfish works well, and softer fish will blacken, too. They just flake apart and don’t make such a nice presentation. Big deal-turn the lantern off and eat.
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup melted butter
Cajun spice mix
In the field
Melt butter and brush it on both sides of the fish. Coat the fillets in Cajun spices-the hotter you like your food, the more you should use. Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy cast-iron skillet until it is almost smoking-hot. Place the fish in the pan. Depending on its thickness, cook it one to three minutes on each side, until it’s lightly charred. (If the fish is soft-fleshed like trout, you’ll need to turn it carefully with a spatula.) Squeeze lemon juice on top, and serve.
**Foil-Baked Fish With Parmesan Pasta **
The challenge with cooking fish when backpacking is keeping it all to a minimum: the weight, the mess, the level of complexity. This dish works wonders on any species.
Fish enough to feed two, whole or filleted
Salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
8 ounces dried fettuccini
1/2 cup dried mushrooms
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 bunch green onions
1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried minced garlic
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
** At home**
Package the mushrooms and tomatoes in one small spice bottle. Pour the garlic in another and add the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Fold an 18×36-inch sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil into a compact flat parcel. Store all the ingredients in a zippered plastic bag.
** In the field **
Tear off one 6×18-inch strip of aluminum foil and set it aside. Drizzle olive oil on the remaining foil. Place the fish (skin-side down if filleted) on the foil and drizzle it with more olive oil. Squeeze on the lemon juice. Season it with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Roll the sides and ends of the aluminum foil tightly to form a pouch. Place it on hot coals and cook until the fish flakes with a fork.
While it’s cooking, chop the onions and boil the pasta. Add the dried mushrooms and tomatoes during the last three minutes of cooking time. Fold the strip of aluminum foil into an L-shape. Pour the pine nuts onto the shelf portion of the L, and place the foil near the fire, where the upright section will reflect heat downward. Toast the pine nuts until brown.
Drain the pasta, mushrooms, and tomatoes, and mix in all the other ingredients. If the fish is whole, serve it on the side. Otherwise, combine it with the rest.