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The best way to cook up your striper catch

Outdoors
By: J.D. Richey Journal Outdoors Columnist
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All this crazy weather is doing wonders for our long-term water situation — and it is also helping prolong what has been one of the greatest striper seasons of all time! Every time the bass get close to spawning, we get a little cold snap like the one Wednesday and that drops the water temps… and thus pushes back the spawn. That of course means that they hang around in the rivers longer! Stripers are fun to catch — and maybe even more enjoyable to eat. They have mild, white fillets that are absolutely delicious and I have a lot of clients tell me that they like ‘em better than halibut. I’m not totally sure I’d go that far, but they’re pretty close. To get some new ideas on how to cook ‘em up, I talked to my pal, Scott “The Sporting Chef” Leysath, the world’s leading authority on cooking stuff you catch and shoot (and also co-host of the popular TV show Hunt Fish Cook) and he suggested his super easy One Pan Striper with Asparagus recipe. “This one’s quick, easy, colorful and only requires a big skillet or wok and a handful of fresh ingredients,” he says. “When asparagus isn’t in season, substitute any green vegetable like broccoli, sugar snap peas or green beans. Check out your local Asian market for the best price on fresh vegetables!” Before we start, a quick word on striper fishing… it’s a good idea to keep only the males — fish in the 4- to 10-pound class — as the big ones are the egg-laden females that are the future of the fishery. You can kill a couple males and not impact the fishery… One Pan Striper with Asparagus 4 servings • 2 tablespoons olive oil • 12 small red potatoes, quartered • 1 red onion, rough chopped • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and rough chopped • 12 – 16 fresh asparagus spears, woody parts of stems removed • 2 garlic cloves, minced • 1 pound striper fillets, dark parts removed – cut into 2-inch pieces (about 2 1/2 cups) • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice • 1/4 cup dry white wine • 4 tablespoons chilled butter, cut into chunks • salt and pepper 1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add potatoes and cook on all sides until lightly browned, about 6-8 minutes. Add onion and cook 3-4 minutes more. 2. Add bell pepper, asparagus and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes. Move contents of pan over to one side and add striper pieces. While in the pan, season the fish with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook fish until just done, about 4-5 minutes. Gently combine fish with vegetables, season with salt and pepper to taste and transfer to plates or platter and keep warm. Add lemon juice and wine to the pan and increase heat to high. Stir to remove bits. Reduce liquid to about 2 tablespoons. 3. Remove pan from heat and immediately whisk in butter pieces until melted. Drizzle butter sauce over fish and vegetables. For more recipes, check out www.huntfishcook.com.