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How to cook blue gill and sunnys?


SHADE OF GRAY

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We eat em at least 1x /week, here's the current fav. Fillet the panfish (it takes a bit of time to fillet a pile of these lil guys so leave enough time. I almost always fillet them the next day after fishing), then start some "Dirty rice" or similar Cajun rice recipe. Rinse the fillets . Use some kind of Louisiana fish breading to bread fillets, I really like "Andy's Fish Breading" (1-800-305-3004) but you can use almost anything w a southern twist. I don't batter them, these sunny fillets are like shrimp! OK, I cook the fillets carefully in an electric skillet w/ just a touch of canola in the skillet before I place them in. Time will depend on the type of skillet but you want a mild,quiet sizzle-nothing too too hot. As the rice is approaching being done you can crank up the heat under the fish if you want a touch of browning but be careful. Serve rice & fish fillets w/ vegetable of choice (summer squash or zuks are a good pairing).I'll bet there won't be much to put in the fridge when you're done...

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I like 50/50 italian bread crumb/flour, deep fry, and use cocktail sauce for dipping. I don't use egg, just water to wet the fillet then roll in the mix. Now I am hungry just thinking about it!!! I have made some fish chowder recipes with Bluegill that have turned out great.

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Two twists that we use on most all of our fish, sunnies to walleye:

First, we add parmesan cheese to the batter mix when frying. Peanut oil is best. If you're oil illiterate, like me, and can't read the temperature of the oil offhand, then it'll help to use an oil thermometer. Nothing worse than burnt or soggy fillets when you're anticipating 'nummi treats.

Second, when we're pretending to be healthy we fry the fillets with just a hint of salt in grape seed oil. Grape seed oil can get hotter than other oils without smoking, which allows you to flash fry the fish and retain moisture inside. This is especially important for small fillets. We're talking maybe 15s per side, real hot, real quick. After that, the fillets form their own "crust", crunchy on the outside, moist on the inside, and you can do almost anything with them. Great with cucumbers and guacomole on sandwiches (try Monk's Sunflower Bread) or fry up a mixture of diced tomatoes and capers to dish over them...delish!!!

These two techniques are mutually exclusive, probably not a good idea to use in combination.

Gator

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  • 2 weeks later...

Spice your fillets the way you like them, and then roll them up with a toothpick or 2 holding them together. Drop them into boiling water then when done ( it don't take long) immediately drop them into ice water. Let them drain and get your favorite cocktail sauce for dipping. Make sure you have enough, they go fast, enjoy.

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