Pike for supper

Pike are very common, not difficult to catch and are a delicious mild-flavoured fish. Their one big negative is that they have more bones than other fish, with those “Y” bones in a line along the thickest part of the fillet. The method to remove these bones is pretty straightforward and can be found on Google. With these bones removed along with the rib bones, you are left with a totally boneless fillet from which a 28- to 30-inch pike will feed two people and both sides will feed four.

Pike can be baked, fried, smoked, poached or prepared by any other method you can come up with. There are numerous fish coatings in shakers to be sprinkled on, or more powdery coatings that can be applied by shaking the fish and coating in a ziplock. Either way, the fish is cooked in a shallow amount of lard or oil in a fry pan. Lard is actually better because it will cook at a higher temperature than an oil. These coated fillets can also be baked in a pan or barbecued on a perforated tinfoil sheet. Either way, they do not need to be turned over to cook through.

Pike can also be battered and deep-fried to a golden, crispy finish. Batter recipes are readily available, to make yourself or buy to prepare. Either method is simple. A very easy batter is as simple as a basic bannock mix made with a little more liquid for the right consistency. These dipped pieces are rolled over with a fork or spatula in the hot lard or oil. Experience will tell you when they are done, but usually they are ready to eat when the batter crust is golden in colour.

Pike fillets, pieces or chunks are delicious with a brushed-on coating of mild (or to your taste) salsa and then broiled or barbecued for eight to 12 minutes, depending on temperature.

Chunks or pieces can also be immersed in a zesty Italian salad dressing for half an hour or so, then broiled or barbecued and served stabbed with toothpicks as an appetizer. Any salad dressing that you enjoy will work.

Pike are often overlooked, as smoked fish, and are delicious. Any brine recipe will work, and you will learn from each time. Research and follow basic smoking routines, especially air-drying before putting the fish in the smoker.

Fish are especially vulnerable to freezer burn, if not packaged well. Ziplocks, with all the air squeezed out, will work in the short-term, but investing in and using a vacuum sealer will keep your fish fresher for a much longer time.

Fish for dinner

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