Sunday, April 28, 2013

Save Alaskan Salmon: Eat Pike

baked Alaskan pike

Pike are an invasive, predatory species where we live. They were introduced to lakes illegally, and now they hide in shallow swamps, preying on trout and salmon babies.  Back when TH thought the world was heading towards an apocalyptic demise, he fine-tuned his pike catching skills, to make sure we could self-sufficiently meet our protein needs.  Advantageously, pike can be caught year round (through holes in the ice during winter), there are no limits, and ridding the water of these creatures is encouraged by Fish and Game.  The meat is white and fairly mild, but many people are turned off by the boniness of pike. However, they  can be filleted in a unique manner to remove the y-bones.  View this YouTube video for a great demonstration.

Alaska pike fishing

TH loves fried pike, but this method isn't as appealing to me.  As I dug through our chest freezer the other day, I noticed a dwindling salmon supply, and what seemed to be a growing pike population, eerily mirroring our outdoor environment. It was time to expand our pike repertoire.  I  borrowed heavily from this Baked Halibut Steak recipe to produce a meal that we can look forward to enjoying again (and again, and again).

Marinate pike fillets in Italian dressing overnight in a glass pan.  I used about eight smallish fillets, and about half of the dressing recipe below.

Italian Dressing
Mix together:
4 oz balsamic vinegar
8 oz olive oil
1/4 t salt
1 T dried Italian spices
1/4 t basil salt (my wonderful neighbor makes this for me)
2 minced garlic cloves
1 T honey

Baked Alaskan Pike
2 T olive oil (more if needed)
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 sweet yellow onion, chopped
2 large zucchinis, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cans diced Italian tomatoes
crumbled feta and sliced black olives (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Saute garlic, onion, and zucchini in olive oil over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper and then add diced tomatoes, simmering for five minutes.   To reduce calories, drain some of the marinade off of the fillets, and then top with the sauteed veggie mixture.  If desired, sprinkle feta and olives on top, and then bake for fifteen minutes or more, depending on the thickness of fillets. Serve on top of a bed of greens, or quinoa.

baked Alaskan pike

Do you have any ideas for pike preparation?  

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