Late last Summer my favourite photographer, Derek Richmond, and I decided we wanted to do a food shoot as a test. I wanted to do something with fish so went off to the local shops and looked at an array of tired, flabby fillets. Here we are on the edge of Lake Michigan and not a handsome specimen to be found. Resourceful as we should be, a trip to the tackle and bait shop led us to a bar where 30 year veteran fisherman, Ken Neidlinger was finishing up his lunch with a table of Russians from Chicago. They had been out all morning on Ken’s Silverking charter. By their happy faces they had obviously done well. Explaining our need to Ken, he promised to take us out that afternoon, for free!.
A private launch onto Pipestone Creek and within 20 minutes we had caught a 16lb steelhead.
Home again, home again, I sharpened my blade and set about rendering the somewhat hefty, now named ‘Opal’, salmon.
Here follows a recipe, written Elizabeth David style, to cook your ‘Opal’ en papillote.
Catch one 16lb steelhead. Prepare some dill butter with 1 large clove chopped garlic, half a stick of butter, and large tablespoons each of fresh dill, sea salt and lemon zest. Amalgamate in a bowl to spread between your fish fillets
Lay the prepared fish on a generous clump of fresh dill which is on a sheet of parchment paper large enough to wrap into a parcel around the fish. Score gently the skin of said fish and squeeze the juice of a lemon over the top. Give a generous seasoning with sea salt and black pepper, scatter some inch long pieces of lemongrass around her and decorate with lemon zest.
Wrap en papillote. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Better yet, cook over a fire by the edge of the water and eat messily with copious amounts of dry chill white wine.