By Karen Earnshaw
Alone on my yacht Seal at Enemanet Island, I was idly turning the pages of a Bon Appetit magazine when there came a loud thumping outside. “Holy crap! What’s that?” I thought as I jumped up from the bunk, scrambled up the companionway, and peered around the dodger to the forward deck.
A fish! There’s a fish flapping about on the port side. Pretty big. Oh, God, what to do?
If in doubt, get help, so I ran back down below and grabbed the radio mike and called a nearby yacht: “De La Mer, De La Mer!” And then my husband: “Wasabi, Wasabi!” I screeched, finger firmly on the transmit button. “There’s a fish on the deck. What do I do?”
Husband Cary came back with a laugh and said: “Put it in the frying pan.” De La Mer admiral Kathy was more sympathetic: “Karen, I’m on my way. Get a knife.”
On handing her the fileting knife, the admiral (and, in a former life, a farmer in New Zealand) commented that she’d been asked to kill chickens before, but never a fish, clearly pointing out that this is not a difficult task. “Thank you, thank you,” I said as she deftly gutted, decapitated and scaled the snake mackerel and popped it into the bowl I’d grabbed from galley.
“Wasabi, Wasabi!” I called a few minutes later.
“What’s up?” said Cary.
“We have fish for dinner. When will you get back to Seal?”
“About an hour. Feeling hungry already.”
I picked the Bon Appetit magazine up again and looked in the index for a recipe I’d spotted earlier:
Fish with Spicy Stuffing
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 stalk celery, chopped
Half an onion, diced
2 tablespoons finely sliced leek
2 tablespoons sultanas
1 small can crushed jalapeno peppers
1 decent size snake mackerel or other white fish
Method: Fry first five ingredients in olive oil for 5 or 6 minutes. Add sultanas and cook for a couple more minutes. Stir in peppers. Set aside. Place fish in oiled baking pan and squeeze lemon all over and inside fish. Stuff with the vegetables and place remaining mixture on top of and around fish. Bake for 40 minutes or until fish flakes easily. Serve with your favorite side such as steamed potatoes and a green vegetable.
Alternate recipe ideas: Fillets of fish can be substituted for whole fish. The ‘stuffing’ can be made using a variety of vegetables, but the ginger and sultanas were a highlight. Instead of vegetables on the side, try brown rice and a salad.