Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Yummiest Fish EVER!

Summertime, sweet summertime!  We just love summertime in South Texas.  A few of the BEST things about living down south near the Gulf of Mexico are the beach, the fishing, and the seafood.  Having friends who own a boat and lodge is always a benefit too!   
On a recent vacation to the gulf coast, we were lucky enough to be invited to the Horn, Fin, and Feather Lodge, operated by the parents of some dear friends of ours, and part of the El Sauz Ranch, which is located near Port Mansfield, a cute fishing spot.  On the first evening of our visit, we drove to a bay-area waterway where we fished off the bank.  Holy Moly!!!   The kids would cast their line and within MINUTES there would be a huge tug! 

Here I am reeling in something...  I'm sure it was an alligator gar.  We caught lots of those prehistoric-looking fish that have a head like an alligator.  They are really ugly, and have a face that only an alligator gar Mama would love!! 

We caught a channel cat or two... 

We also caught several BEAUTIFUL redfish, one that was somewhat of a prize.  Little did I know that lots of spots on a fish are a prize to reel in.  And little did I know that a 32” redfish was a big fish to catch!  Beginner’s luck, I guess!  We all had so much fun that evening, we weighed and tagged “The Big One”, and the men filleted and bagged the fishy for the next day’s dinner.

And in true South Texas fashion, we made a new friend. 

Let me introduce you to Bob.  Here he is with his beautiful daughter and the 48" alligator gar they just rescued from the bay water.  Bob is a rancher, fisherman, farmer of “chuckers”  (that’s a story for later!), AND Bob’s a fireman.  (Firemen like to cook, or so I’ve heard.)  Bob had a recipe for cooking the redfish that did not disappoint us at all.  So yummy!!!

Here’s what he did: 
Bob took the redfish and laid it skin down on heavy duty foil.  Using a sharp knife, he scored the fish all the way to the skin, but not through the skin, leaving it intact.  He smeared butter all over the fish, even down into the cuts he had just made.  Then he topped the fish with Pico de gallo with chopped avocado.  (Pico de gallo a mixture of tomato, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, garlic, lime juice, with a shake of salt.  Bob added lots finely diced avocado to his pico.) Finally he took the foil with fish on top and put it on the grill over hot coals, cooking it until it was flaky and cooked through.

I’m not a true fan of redfish, but this stuff was over-the-top delicious.  Even my picky “I don’t like fish” teenager thought it was some good chow!

I can’t wait to visit El Sauz ranch again.  It was a piece of South Texas heaven. 

I also want to share this beautiful photo of a plant I found growing on the property.  I was told this is called a “Love Vine”.  I have to have one.  I'm going to start hunting for one today, so I can look at it and think of the day we reeled in the yummiest fish ever!
And finally, I leave you with these photos.  Sunsets and nights on the coast are just amazing.  Can't wait to experience this again!

Peace and Joy!
The Menu Maker Mom
Feeding the family ~ One menu at a time