I mention that for a couple of reasons. One is that we are not really a fishing family. We go fishing pretty much once a year. There’s a program called C.A.S.T. (Catch A Special Thrill), which sets up a day where volunteer boaters take handicapped and special needs kids and their families out on a lake and everybody fishes all morning. We’ve done it three years running, and it’s always a lot of fun. I’m always impressed at the hard work of those volunteers, as well as the organizers. It’s a really impressive day.
Another reason I mention it is because this year was a very special year. It is the year that my curse was broken!
See, every time I would go fishing, nobody caught anything. I don’t just mean me. I mean, nobody. Nobody in our group, nobody in our boat, nobody. I started to get this emotional, gut-level complex. I began to think I was cursed.
But this time, I caught some, Brendon and Jacob caught some, the Pursells (our friends) caught some, EVERYBODY caught some! And since the Pursells don’t really like to eat fish, I got to bring it all home. And, today, I got to cook them!
Now, since I don’t usually catch ‘em, I sure don’t know how to fillet them. But after literally butchering the first one, I kinda got the hang of it, and the rest turned out pretty well. They were all bass. Most were smallish, with not much meat, but there were a few pretty sizable ones.
I’d found, in a cookbook I have, a recipe for a yogurt and dill sauce for chicken. I thought it would taste good on fish, so I looked at it again, and modded it with some additional herbs, and put the whole thing on potatoes. Here it is:
Dutch Oven Yogurt and Herb Fish
12” Dutch Oven
8 coals below, 16-17 above in the baking stage
- A lot of white fish filets. I think there were probably about 10 fish we kept, most of which were 10 to 12” before filleting, and a few were as long as 14”
- 2 small tubs of plain yogurt
- Juice from 2 limes
- Very liberal applications of:
- Dill weed
- Pepper (coarse ground)
- Any other herb or spice you want
- 1 medium to large onion, quartered and separated
- 1 lb bacon, cut into 1” squares
- 1 tbsp garlic
- Salt, pepper
- 2 large potatoes, quartered and sliced
I started by Filleting the fish, and putting them all in a big mixing bowl. Then, in another bowl, I mixed all of the sauce ingredients. I poured that over the fish, and stirred it up to coat them all thick. I put that in the fridge to marinade.
I continued by sautéing the bacon, the onion, and the garlic until they were all pretty brown. I had the oven over a lot of coals at the time, probably around 25-27 or so. I added the salt and pepper, then the potatoes. I stirred it all up to coat the potatoes in the bacon grease. At that point, I pulled the dutch oven off the coals, and set it up for the baking, with the above listed coals on top and below.
Since fish cooks pretty quick, I baked the potatoes for about 20-30 minutes before adding the fish on top. Then, about a half hour later, it was all done.
I was kinda surprised by how much liquid there was at the bottom. It was almost like a soup. But the yogurt and the herbs on the fish tasted great! Fish and yogurt are not very strong flavors, so make sure that you really let go with the herbs!