Crappies for Breakfast

Nutritionists claim breakfast is the most important meal of the day. That’s true in my case, however, I postpone dining until I can call it lunch. Breakfast ain’t what it used to be when I was kid growing up in the rural South. Back then, Mom would fry each of us a couple of eggs with bacon, ham or sausage (usually two of the three), gravy, hot buttered biscuits stuffed full of thick homemade blackberry jam (“It’s gotta be jam ’cause jelly don’t shake like that” ;>) and black burn-your-tonsils coffee… and not that frufy stuff you’ve got to go downtown to buy.

To cut back on grease for breakfast, a lot of people prefer omelets. Of course, this being Crappie Now, we gotta throw in some fish.

 

Crappie Omelet

2 crappie fillets (for one or two serving. Increase ingredients to sate more tummies)

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon cumin

Salt & pepper

1 teaspoon dried dill

1 clove garlic, mashed

Pinch or two of cayenne to taste

4 tablespoons of canola oil

Lemon wedges

Pat fillets dry and set aside. Mix all ingredients (except oil and lemon) together to make your batter. Dip fish in batter and fry in oil until flakey. During the last few minutes of frying, pour remaining batter over fish and cook without stirring, omelet-style. Serve with lemon wedges.

 

For a nutritious and an alternative breakfast, let’s grill a few pancakes.

 

Wheat Germ Pancakes

The germ of wheat (a cereal) is the reproductive part that germinates to grow a plant. Along with bran, germ is often a by-product of the milling to produce refined grain products. Cereal grains and their components, such as wheat germ oil, rice bran oil and maize, may be used as a source from which vegetable oil is extracted, or used directly as a food ingredient.

The germ is retained as an integral part of whole-grain foods. Non-whole grain methods of milling are intended to isolate the endosperm, which is ground into flour. With removal of both the husk (bran) and the germ yields white flour rather than brown flour that is naturally more nutritious.

The germ is rich in polyunsaturated fats that have a tendency to oxidize and become rancid if not stored properly and so germ removal improves the storage qualities of flour. Let’s put natural cereal on our plate along with bee-made honey.

1 1/2 cups milk

2 eggs

2 cups gluten flour

1 cup wheat germ

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

Honey

Add milk and eggs to dry ingredients. Mix only until all ingredients are moistened. Spoon on a hot griddle. Serve with honey.

 

Crappie Stew

You can prepare this stew ahead of time, double the recipe to sip some now and refrigerate or freeze some for later.

2 pounds crappies, whole

6 cups water

4 sprigs fresh dill

1 tablespoon chives, chopped

1/2 tablespoon butter

2 teaspoons flour

5 medium potatoes

1 cup mixed fresh vegetables (carrots & peas)

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon salt

Clean fish, leaving heads intact. Bring water to boil and add fish. Reduce to simmer for 20 minutes. Remove fish and break into large pieces. Return fish bones and heads, dill, chives and salt to water. Cook slowly for 30 minutes. Strain and reserve liquid. Melt butter in sauce pan and add flour; make sure you don’t brown the flour. Add fish liquid slowly, stirring constantly. Cook for 10 minutes and then slowly add cream to make fish soup. Peel potatoes, cook in boiling water until tender. Remove and cut into quarters. Peel carrots and quarter and then boil until almost tender and then add peas to cook a few more minutes. Combine fish, potatoes, carrots and peas into prepared fish soup, heat and serve.