Simple Crappie Recipes to Kick Off a Happy 2016

Goals for Making Life Go Your Way
At the turn of each year I like to set goals, not New Year resolutions. Goals are serious; resolutions are wishes. If I want to change aspects of my life, I have to change how I’ve been behaving. Dr. Albert Einstein defined insanity this way: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
I’m guilty. But when I recognize things aren’t going to my plan; then I do something else. It’s like not catching crappie in places where I’ve caught’em before. I eventually realize I’ve got to move. I need to change places and become more diligent looking for other spots with my sonar. Saves time and frustration.
These are goal-setting steps I learned decades ago and may help you reach your goals. First, I made a list a list of 10 things I wanted to have, to be and do. I prioritized them 1 through 10 and attacked number one. I wanted to change careers to become a full-time outdoor/travel writer. I listed the baby steps I thought it would take to reach my goal.
Setting a deadline was especially important. That date looming in the future made me work more conscientiously. My deadline was three years for becoming a full-time writer, however, it didn’t take as long because I quickly changed from less productive steps to doing something else – plus I had some luck.
So that’s my New Year’s tidbit on setting goals and how to achieve’em. I thank you for reading these words that are off the topic of cooking, but writers like to spice things up with a little variety once in a while. Now let’s eat!

Orange Crappie
4-6 crappie fillets
Orange juice
Garlic salt
All-purpose flour
Canola oil
Mix orange juice and garlic salt. Cover fillets with mixture. Cover the fillets and marinate in ‘fridge over night or for about eight hours. Turn fillets once during marination. Drain juice from fillets. Coat fillets with flour and fry in oil at 365 degrees until fillets flake with the touch of a fork.

Zesty Crappie
4 5- to 8-ounce fillets with skin on one side
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil, peanut oil or butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
4 cups peeled and chopped fresh tomatoes
Ground red pepper, to taste
2 cups burgundy wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Place onions and parsley in oil or butter and sauté 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, tomatoes, red pepper, salt, wine and soy sauce. Cook until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Lightly season fillets with salt and pepper and place on medium-hot grill, fillet skin side up for 3 minutes. Turn and cook 2 minutes more. Place in aluminum foil and place in a grill-safe pan on grill and top with sauce. Close top on grill and cook 10 minutes.

Crappie Substitution Trick
If your taste in fish is like mine, we prefer crappie over most other fish. However, if I only have bass fillets, here’s what I do to make them taste more like crappie.
1 1/2 pounds bass fillets
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup green onions
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Sprinkle fillets with salt and pepper and dredge lightly in flour. Melt about 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Fry the fillets until brown on both sides and remove to a plate, keeping them warm. Add more butter to the skillet and add mushrooms and green onions. Cook them for about 3 minutes. Stir in the wine and lemon juice. Pour this mixture over the fish and serve. Sprinkle extra onions over the top.

I wish all a happy and successful New Year!