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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Monday, July 24, 2006

Fresh Perch

Last week a friend called wanting to know if we wanted some fresh perch. He's catching a lot right now. We've been playing on and in the water too much to fish. So we took him up on his kind offer and gave him a bag of zucchini in return.

Fresh Perch

Fresh perch is a delight! The fish is quite popular in our area as is fishing. I must admit to being rather lazy regarding fishing lately so I best change that. Perch are small fish with a mild delicate flavour that is perfect for pan frying. I've heard so many people say they don't like fish because of the fishy smell. They simply are not eating fresh fish. Fresh fish does not smell fishy!

We had a lovely fish dinner that night. There was enough left over for another two to three meals. I vacuum sealed the rest of the fish using my new Rival VS120 Seal-a-Meal using the pre-made Rival bags. Those bags sure are heavy weight compared to the bagging material from my old vacuum sealer. I wanted to make sure to protect this fish well.


Pan Fried Perch

We dredge the fish in a light fish coating. This is one of the very few times I will eat fish with any kind of coating! The secret to the golden results is using a cast iron fry pan. We have tried using non-stick and stainless steel but the cast iron gives the best results. The fish were fried in peanut oil. Since the fillets are small, they take little time to cook. Care must be taken to not over cook perch or any other fish.

Mushrooms

We love mushrooms! We have them any chance we can. There is a mushroom farm not far from us so quite often I will pick up twenty pounds then can or freeze them. Last week I didn't feel like driving that far so checked closer sources. I found these beauties at the local orchard along with some very nice portabello mushrooms. We like them sliced thick for the mushroom zucchini mix.

Mushroom Zucchini Mix

This dish is one of our favourite quick sides using zucchini. The ingredients are mushroom slices, zucchini, and coarsely chopped onion. It is very good sprinkled with fresh grated parmesan cheese. I also use it as a pasta topping of which I will post about later. If I could figure out a way to preserve this mix, I would but it does not lend itself to freezing or canning.

I cook it one of two ways. If sauteeing, I use a light olive oil and start with the onions first followed by the mushrooms. Then the zucchini is added once the other vegetables are almost finished. This preserves the bright green of the zucchini. Finally a pat of butter is stirred in. I also cook this dish on the grill in a foil packet. Everything is combined in a bowl then tossed with light olive oil. The vegetables are put onto foil along with a pat of butter. The foil packet is sealed then placed on the grill in indirect heat.

We use the grill almost daily in the summer. Whenever it is in use it is always doing double duty. If the grill is cooking that night's dinner, chances are very good it is also cooking a roast or other meat for later use. Sometimes it bakes the bread or the desert as well.


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