Thursday, April 17, 2008

Zumbro River Sucker with White Sauce

I believe this is a white sucker - brethern to those that were netted from northern Minnesota streams by my brothers, cousins and me all through the 1980s and beyond (the most we ever got in one landing net at one time was 16). I can't be 100% sure on the ID though... folks will correct me if I'm wrong. I picked her up while scouting for carp yesterday.

Looking for cooking methods other than smoking... I like that technique, but I don't like firing it all up for just one fish. I tried this bit:

White Sauce:
1/2 tbsp unbleached flour
1/2 cup milk
fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tbsp butter
This is a basic recipe from our Better Homes & Gardens bit.

Sautee sucker fillets in oil (should have used butter) with fresh chopped parsley for a few minutes, then add white sauce, more parsley and reduce heat to simmer... for ~10 minutes.


If you want to maintain health and keep organophosphate out of your system: use cast iron pan only, and organic ingredients.

Review: not great, not bad. It really didn't have a lot of taste to it. The pepper and the parsley were what I noticed as I ate... which, in retrospect makes sense. The fish didn't taste fishy or mossy. My main complaint: the flesh was too soft. This may be due to poor preparation on my part. I soaked it in milk over night - not sure if that affected density. Overall, it was kind of blah. I wonder if the flesh would have "firmed up" had I used the technique that has been recommended to me on several occasions - that of keeping the fish alive in cool, clean water for a day or two.


Blogger Unknown said...

having trouble with the images loading...

10:33 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

looks like a white sucker to me. And the dish looks tasty. Too bad it wasn't as good as it looked. Maybe try broiling it next time?

8:08 AM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

Broiling is a good idea. Don't get me wrong - it wasn't bad... just not great.

I like broiled fish in general.

9:39 AM  
Blogger nelson said...

the problem may have been the sauce. pretty bland as far as white sauces go. try this next time; salt and pepper the fish. dredge it in flour and saute it in oil or butter. oil has a higher flash point, so i'd go oil, butter may burn. after you flip fish 1st time hit the pan with a 1/4 cup of white wine. let that reduce a bit. then add some chives, parsley, maybe some thyme and oregano. add some heavy cream, just a couple ounces. let it simmer a few minutes. when yer doing the initial saute you can add garlic, wild leeks, onions, whatever.

7:07 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

Wow - that is aggressive and it sounds like a great recipe. Thanks. Have you tried that with white sucker?

7:48 PM  
Blogger nelson said...

i was a chef for 16 years, french and italian trained. i have actually never tried sucker, i'd like to though. Steve klotz told me redhorse, spring caught, is delicious. but the sauce would go with any whitefish, or even chix. we'll have to talk. i can explain a few basic fundamentals, that once mastered( and they are simple)will open up a whole new world. a few basic sets that have unlimited plug in variations.
i really haven't eaten any roughfish per say. that should change. ok, that's wrong, i have had smoked chubs and smoked carp.
and speaking of smoking, i have some serious thoughts. i have experimented with different things like brines, woods, teas, dried herbs,dried fruits, skins from different veggies. gotta get outside the box so to say.

8:56 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

I'd like to discuss carp at some point - my goal is to work out a good means of preparation for that fish.

Good info - thanks. I'd like to get that "basic tool box" for the kitchen.

8:32 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'd be interested to hear more about the "toolbox" as well. WB keep me in the loop

9:23 AM  
Blogger Michael Thompson said...

I have heard that although they are good eating, they have lots of bones. did you find that to be the case?

7:05 PM  
Blogger Wendy Berrell said...

I didn't find the fish to be particularly boney. Some bones were present, but not to the point of annoyance.

11:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The apple I'm eating came from Chile. That's amazing. I wonder how other countries environmental regulations, or lack there of, affect our produce.

1:42 PM  
Blogger Chuck S said...

We've ate both Redhorse and White as well as others. Lightly seasoned, dipped in egg then cornmeal/flour mix and fry in oil. Yumm! If the fillets are thick, score first to cook the fine bones. Our best recipe is a simple poach in salty milk, flake or grind and remove obvious bones, then use Old Bay Crab seasoning to make Faux Crab Cakes.

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