Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Great Spanish Mackerel Cook Off

When I have too much time on my hands I come up with off the wall stuff.  Once in a while there might be a little something worth while in my rambling thoughts.  The Great Spanish Mackerel Cook Off may not be a bad idea.

A bunch of years ago I had clients down from the frozen north that had a great time fishing.  They would not even think about tasting a Spanish Mackerel though.  In the winter, especially on windy days, it is hard not to catch Spanish Mackerel.  They fight good.  They are plentiful.  They would be a top notch game fish if only they had a better reputation on the table. To prove to my clients from lLong Island that our local Spanish Mackerel should not be confused with Boston Mackerel or Jack Mackerel, I created a recipe for Spanish Mackerel cakes. 

My crew sampled the cakes in silence.  I was getting the impression they thought my skills in the kitchen sucked until they finally said angrily that my fish cakes were better than the crab cakes they had paid out the nose for in Key Weird.  I am not trying to say my fish cakes are better than properly prepared crab cakes.  They do beat the heck out of crap cakes that many restaurants pull out of the freezer and broil for unsuspecting customers. 

Spanish Mackerel also make great fish dip.  Most of the dips are made from smoked mackerel fillets, though the meat can be prepared in a variety of ways for dips or fish salads.  Fried Spanish Mackerel can also be quite tasty, though you can fry about anything and someone will eat it.  The biggest problem with Spanish Mackerel is that the raw fillets do not freeze well.  The fillets tend to get mushy when frozen.

So I recently did some research while I was freezing my own butt off during the recent cold front.  Salting Mackerel removes a good deal of the moisture from the fillets enabling the fillets to be frozen with less damage.  The salting firms the fillets enough that new texture may lend itself to a wider variety of recipes.  The next local step in my deranged mind was to have a Spanish Mackerel Cook Off to get more people involved in the project.  It is a quirk of human nature than normally sane people will suddenly start working their butts off to win a stupid ribbon or spend hundreds of dollars to win plaque or trophy.  Throw in a keg of beer and you can dozens of spectators cheering on the chefs.

Not being the most organized person in the world, I would be a poor choice to head the select committee for the Great Spanish Mackerel Cook Off.  I am devious enough to Tom Sawyer some poor unsuspecting individual into taking the Cook Off ball and running with it.

Now I will start my diabolical plan to get more people to eat Spanish Mackerel and have fun doing it.  If you would like to assist in this endeavor, start spreading the word that Spanish Mackerel can be good eats.

Marathon in the Florida Keys should be your next fishing vacation destination. Join us for charter fishing, fishing guide trips or our fishing 101 so you can fish on your own with better success.

Tight lines,

Capt. Dallas

No comments:

Post a Comment