There are a lot of lakes and reservoirs near McCall, and Cascade Reservoir is filled with delicious perch. They are a mild white-fleshed fish, averaging 12 inches. I like ice fishing, but Toby and his friend Kurt LOVE ice fishing. 10 below and windy? Press on. That's when fish won't suspect you.

Mostly it's beautiful out on the lake, and this has been a good year for creative perch recipes. This recipe from Kurt is my favorite! He adapted it from Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, one of the best wild food sites of all time. Serve this with crusty bread.

Perch Chowder

Ingredients

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large yellow or white onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold or other waxy potatoes, peeled and diced
2 cups corn (we use frozen) 1 quart stock (we use pork or venison)
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
Salt and black pepper
1 1/2 pounds skinless yellow perch fillets, cut into chunks
6 to 8 ounces Polish kielbasa, sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill or parsley
1 cup sour cream, served tableside

Directions

  • Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium heat. When it stops frothing, add the chopped onion and cook gently until its soft and translucent. Do not let it brown.
  • Add the potatoes and coat with the butter. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes to let the butter absorb a bit. Sprinkle everything with salt. Pour in the stock, water and marjoram and add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer gently for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
  • Once the potatoes are tender, add the perch, corn and sausage and simmer another 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and add your herbs.
  • Ladle into bowls and let everyone add sour cream to taste at the table.