A well-made sauce can save the day when it comes to preparing a fresh catch while still on the water. And, as chef Patricia Clark explains, concocting that sauce can be less complicated than you might think.
You are heading out early in the morning to catch the biggest and most delicious fish in the sea. If you are fishing in Caribbean waters, you will likely catch mahi, wahoo, snapper, grouper, mackerel, cobia or tuna. (Be aware that any non-Bahamian fishing from a vessel in Bahamian waters must have a sportfish permit.)
You may catch a fish within the first hour, or a few hours may have passed, leaving you and your guests starving. Your smart advanced planning will make you the fishing expedition hero.
Your cooler is not only stocked up with beverages but one or two simple frozen sauces in small-portion storage bins ready to apply to fresh catch. Easy-to-prepare sauces made from simple ingredients can fit all different tastes. These sauces may be prepared ahead of time and frozen in small quantities or made fresh onboard with a simple blender such as a Nutribullet, a cordless rechargeable blender such as the Cuisinart EvolutionX or an immersion blender such as the All-Clad rechargeable cordless immersion blender.
It is smart to keep in your fishing trip kit the following items so you are ready for any great catch anytime:
*A sharp boning knife such as the Mac 6” boning knifes;
* A handheld knife sharpener such as the spring-loaded version from Brod & Taylor;
* Protective gloves for sharp spines and poisonous fish like lionfish, such as the Pelagic End Game Pro set;
*Clean kitchen rags such as the Norwex LA Envirocloth;
*Antibacterial wipes and hydrogen peroxide from your local grocery or hardware store.
Make your catch a complete meal by keeping on or more of these staples onboard:
*Packets of precooked noodles such as udon or ramen;
*A bag of prewashed salad greens and a few fresh lemons;
*Flour tortillas or tortilla chips with a premade salsa and a few fresh limes; chopsticks or forks.
Roasted sweet pepper sauce
One jar of roasted red bell peppers, drained and blended with a handful of parsley or basil leaves, ½ cup of shelled walnuts or pistachios and ¼ cup of olive oil. You may add the juice of 1 lemon for a more piquant taste or add 1-2 Tablespoons of your favorite hot sauce to kick up the heat.
Flesh of 1 mango, flesh of 1 small papaya, ¼ cup finely chopped red onion, ¼ cup finely chopped red/orange or yellow bell pepper, 1 small jalapeno, ½ cup cilantro leaves, juice of 4 limes, salt to taste. You may choose to chop by hand or blend in short pulses. Store in airtight containers. Frozen this salsa will mellow in flavor and become a smoother texture than when served fresh.
½ cup umeboshi vinegar, juice of 1 small orange, juice of 1 lime, ¼ cup toasted sesame oil, 1 tablespoon of tamari or soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of sambal or sriracha. This is a very thin “cure” style sauce and is great for dipping. You may thicken it up by blending in ¼ cup each cilantro and mint. When thin, it freezes well into ice cube trays. When thicker, it freezes nicely in airtight pint size containers.
If you are going to freeze this sauce, blanch your herbs in simmering water for 30 seconds then plunge into ice water before making the sauce. The blanching will help the herbs keep their bright color. There are many variations that include a general formula of 1 cup of herb leaves, ½ cup oil, 1 tablespoon of citrus zest or chili paste or reduced vinegar or wine.
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, ¼ cup chopped scallion, ¼ cup fresh lime juice, ¼ cup toasted sesame oil, 1 tablespoon sambal.
1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves, ¼ cup fresh fennel fronds, ¼ cup fresh dill leaves, ¼ cup fresh lemon juice, zest of 1 lemon, ¼ cup olive oil, salt to taste.
¼ cup fresh chopped chives, ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves, ½ cup fresh basil leaves, 2 tablespoons dijon, 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar, ¼ cup olive oil.
Amazing sauces don’t have to be complicated, and neither do the tools you need to make them. With just a few simple things that don’t take up too much space, you can concoct the sauces that make the catch of the day into the meal of the year.