Do you ever watch fishing TV? On mornings that I don’t have to go off to work, and I’m not going out fishing … in truth there aren’t many of those … I like to start the day enjoying my coffee from an actual ceramic mug with no travel top on it, and watching other guys on TV catching fish. Another thing that can be added to list of perks that come with living in the Pacific Northwest is that we have a number region specific outdoors programs. On any given weekend morning, I can usually find some show on that features guys pulling steelhead out of a river, trolling for salmon, or fly fishing for trout, all within a few hours drive of the coffee table I have my feet resting on.
So why am I talking about TV? I mean, besides the fact that it’s one of the coolest things ever after eating, fishing, and sex? Because it was while watching one of the afore-mentioned fishing shows that I got the idea for this post’s recipe. I’m watching the guys river fishing for salmon & steelhead. After a couple hours on the water and catching a few fish, they take a breakfast break back at their camp/cabin/ plunking shack. While they’re discussing how the morning went and how they plan to approach the rest of the day, they’re cooking up & eating potatoes & eggs with bacon, and/or sausages.
Bacon and sausages?
Guys, you just pulled hatchery steelhead out of the river. The bacon and sausages will still be pretty much as tasty tomorrow as they are today, but that steelie is at its peak right now. My advice to you is to save the standard breakfast meats for the mornings you aren’t catching. When you have fresh fish in the plunking shack, that’s the time for a steelhead breakfast.
Steelhead Hash & Eggs
The thing about hash recipes is that they are fast and loose. Some of this, a little of that, season to taste, some ingredients optional… Not to worry though. I’ll give you a set recipe, you can follow it exactly, or fudge the numbers a bit if you wish.
4 Tbs butter 1 lb of potatoes, cooked, peeled, and cut into bite sized chunks 1/2 an onion, sliced 1/2 a bell pepper, sliced salt & pepper to taste 10 oz. of steelhead, salmon, trout, perch, or walleye filet 4 eggs … be ready to cook these how you like best.
Place a cast iron skillet over high heat. Add 2 Tbs of butter, swirling the pan so it coats evenly. When the butter is hot & sizzling, add in the potatoes, onion, and bell pepper. Season with a pinch of salt & pepper. Turn the hash periodically with a spatula. You want to get dark and crispy edges on those potatoes. Don’t let them burn, but don’t be afraid to get some dark brown color to them either. Once the hash has been turned a few times, and you have a good amount of crispy bits throughout, push the hash to the edges of the pan, leaving an open space in the middle. Add the remaining butter to the middle of the pan. Season your fish with a little salt & pepper, and place it in that space in the middle of the pan. Cook the fish until it’s lightly browned on one side, about 4 minutes. Flip the fish over, and remove the pan from the heat. Now would be the time to cook your eggs. You can cook them any way you like: scrambled, sunny-up, over medium, soft boiled … I’m a fan of poached, personally. The remaining heat in the cast iron pan will finish cooking your fish in 3-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of the filet. Once the fish is ready, flake it apart with the spatula, and mix it into the rest of the hash. Check the seasoning, and add more salt & pepper if needed. Pile up some of that hash on your plate, and top it with a couple eggs.
Fuel up, warm up, and get ready to get back out there. There’s more fish waiting to be caught.