" There is no love sincerer than the love of food."
- George Bernard Shaw

Fresh-Caught Lemonpepper Bass

Or catfish! Any fish, really. Even store-bought!

How often do you go fishing? Me, never. Well, hardly ever. I used to go all the time with my dad. Since moving out and getting married, however, I haven't had the money or the time - and, well, my husband hasn't fished since he was a boy, and he really has no desire to be out sitting by the lake doing nothing. I miss it. It can be relaxing and quiet and therapeutic. Also, you get to squish things and get dirty and smell like mud and guts and fish and no one really cares!

Whether you use worms, minnows, grasshoppers, or any form of non-live bait, a good haul can feed the family for weeks. Clean the fish, freeze with a touch of salted water in a vacuum sealed bag, and that same haul can feed you for months, even. When my dad's not teaching, fiddling with things in his garage, or relaxing in his pool, he's out fishing. His freezer is typically packed with frozen things that once lived until they had the misfortune of finding the hook at the end of one of his many poles. He eats what he wants and still has plenty to give away or leave stashed away for a cold winter's day.

This recipe started on the grill. It is one of the easiest and quickest fish recipes that my dad taught me, but since I can't light charcoal every time I want fish, I adapted it for the oven. If you want to keep this on the grill, follow all of the steps, except substitute a nice hot grill for the oven. Remember: single serve foil packs are wonderful grilling - and camping - necessities!

NOTE: This recipe is per fish where each fish represents one serving. Adjust accordingly.

Edible Ingredients
Whole (cleaned) Fish
Lemonpepper Seasoning
Unsalted Sweet Cream Butter
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Necessary Tools
Aluminum Foil
Cookie Sheet

Preheat oven to 400oF

Roll out a piece of aluminum foil at least twice as long as the fish.

Rinse the fish and pat dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle with lemon-pepper seasoning inside and out. Place one square of butter [I use a slice of unsalted sweet butter about as thick as the handle of my table knife...1/8"?] inside the cavity of the fish.

Put the fish in the center of the foil, lengthwise. Fold like a hotdog bun, crimp the top, and roll down to the fish. At each end, crimp and roll inwards. You should now have a fish in a packaged envelope!

Place the fish on a cookie sheet [This catches any leaks and keeps your oven clean.] and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Turn over and bake another 15 minutes. [If you choose to place this inside a hot grill, forget the cookie sheet and just leave the lid shut while the fish cooks. Turn after 15 minutes].

Carefully remove from the oven [or grill] and either unfold one side or cut one end [Beware any trapped steam! It can burn your hand!] and let fish and juices slide out onto your plate. Be careful of any and all fish bones as you enjoy your delicious fish!

One single serving.

I usually serve mine with homemade herbed rice and steamed veggies. My dad would tell me I'm being "too fancy" and harp on about the lack of potatoes on the plate. Oh, and his tip: take a bite of bread with or after each bite of fish just in case you miss a bone and accidentally swallow one. This fish is cooked perfectly and falls apart with the touch of a fork, so finding those bones shouldn't be too hard.

If you do make this, feel free to play with some spices, come up with your own meal, and share with me! And don't be shy about using "exotic" spices or blends - if I don't have it (and, trust me, I have a lot), I will find it just to try it!

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