How to ... Cook a gourmet shore lunch

  • Article by: RON HUSTVEDT JR. , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 12, 2013 - 7:21 AM
hide

Fresh walleye and lake trout cook to perfection over an open flame.

Photo: MARLIN LEVISON • levison@startribune.com,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

Not even the fanciest restaurant with the most masterful chef can top freshly caught, freshly prepared fish on the shoreline of a pristine lake or river.

But wilderness gourmets face a serious handicap: There isn’t enough room in their heavy packs for fancy kitchen utensils and cooking supplies.

Mike Prom, owner of Voyageur Canoe Outfitters on Saganaga Lake at the end of the Gunflint Trail, is one of the most accomplished wilderness chefs in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Prom’s wilderness cooking skills are a customer favorite, known for pleasing even the pickiest of palates.

Like most fishermen, Prom loves catching boatloads of fish, but he keeps only what he intends to cook that very day. “You don’t have a refrigerator or ice, so just keep what you are going to eat for the next meal. Just clean and eat so they are fresh,” he advises.

The first rule of wilderness cooking, according to Prom: Always use a cast iron or steel frying pan. When the weight of his pack has been an issue, Prom confesses that he has made do with aluminum. “It’s difficult to regulate heat with [aluminum frying pans] so avoid them if you can,” he cautioned.

Prom’s other essentials include a sharp fillet knife, a portable knife sharpener and a spatula, plus a carefully selected stash of ingredients for his favorite wilderness-friendly recipes. Here are three of Prom’s best dishes for impromptu shoreline cooking:

Grilled lake trout

Place a grilling rack over a campfire. Use a fillet knife to remove the trout’s skin. Season trout with butter, lemon pepper and garlic. When the coals are hot and burning low, place the trout directly on the rack and cook about 5 minutes per side as conditions allow.

Breaded fish

This is a great option for pike, smallmouth or walleye fillets. Clean the fillets, pat dry and coat with a breading mix, either a homemade or a prepackaged variety. Place pan over heat and add a few tablespoons of Crisco. When Crisco is melted, season pan by frying a slice or two of bacon. Once the bacon is fully cooked, place the fillets in the hot Crisco-bacon grease and fry, turning once, until the fish is flaky and cooked through.

Poor Man’s Lobster

This recipe is well received even by those who dislike fish, says Prom. It works with all game species but turns out best with northern pike. Remove the y-bones so you end up with five different slices of meat. Cut meat into 1-inch squares. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add some crab boil seasoning (Zatarain’s is the most common brand, and Prom says it works just fine) and, using a slotted spoon, place the fish cubes into the boiling water. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove using a slotted spoon and serve with melted butter for dipping, just as you would with lobster.

 

Ron Hustvedt Jr. is a Ramsey-based writer. Find him at WriteOutdoors.com.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

Oakland - LP: D. Otero 8 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: J. Frasor 9
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
NY Islanders 5 FINAL
Boston 3
NY Rangers 2 FINAL
Philadelphia 4
Ottawa 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Tampa Bay 5 FINAL
Dallas 1
Colorado 0 FINAL
Calgary 2
Los Angeles 4 FINAL
San Jose 1
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close