One pound of thick-cut bacon (per person)
A loaf or two of homestyle white bread
At least one pound of butter
An egg or two
A box of corn meal
A great melting cheese like Monterey Jack (or a nice Wisconsin Pepper Jack if you can handle it)
Fresh filets from the fish you just caught (any species will do)
Directions: Place the biggest, thickest-bottomed cast iron pan you can find over an open fire. Heat the pan well and cook all the bacon you’ve got to make well-buttered white bread and bacon sandwiches. After all, it’s going to take a while to cook the fish, and what’s better than bacon for a little pre-lunch munch? Some like to toast the buttered white bread in the bacon fat, some like it without. You make the call.
After removing the bacon for the sandwiches, add a stick or two of butter to get a nice level of fat and butter in the pan for frying the fish. Beat the eggs, dip the prepared fish filets in the egg wash, then roll/coat them with a mixture of corn meal, salt and pepper (and any other spices you care to add).
Place the fish into the pan and cook until one side is a crispy golden brown. Turn the fish and give the same treatment to the other side. For a little extra Wisconsin goodness, top with cheese and let it melt. To finish, squeeze a little fresh lemon to taste.
How many does it serve? Depends on the number of fish you caught. But don’t worry about getting skunked, this recipe’s bacon sandwiches are an entire meal in their own right. Wash it all down with your favorite Wisconsin brew – and never, ever tell your wife you ate this.
Download the classic shore lunch recipe card (PDF)