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Teach a man to fish…

Bass Fishing Birthday Recipes Virginia Tech Bass Fishing Team

Lake Trout that Jody caught in Lake Champlain in May while casting for bass

Once every couple of years, my son brings home a fish to cook.  He catches hundreds  because he is a tournament bass angler, but every one of them goes back into the water to swim away after he gets a look at it or weighs it in.

One day, soon after he was home on his summer break and fishing out of Lake Champlain, he brought me a nice Lake Trout to prepare.  As it was enough to serve several more than our family of five, we put it in the freezer for a special occasion.

For a belated birthday gathering, I’d invited my mom, sister and her family for a celebration.  I thought it would be a great time to share the frozen bounty and so I used a Baked Lump Crab Cakes recipe but substituted the Lake Trout. I also used my deep fryer, please don’t faint.  It was the most delicious fish preparation that I have had in a long time.  I will definitely remember it for the next fresh catch to hit the table.  Also, it was part of a memorable menu.  For all of the following dishes, just click on the emboldened name for the link to the original recipe.


Bang Bang Shrimp
(photo credit  and thanks to Amanda at

Bang Bang Shrimp These were scrumptious -exploding with flavor.  They took some time to prepare, with the breading and all, but once you get into the groove of it, it certainly moves along.  Just make sure to give yourself enough time to start this project, get a leg up on the preparation, then work on other parts of your meal before you throw them in the fryer.  They’re perfect as a meal on their own, or as an appetizer.

Bocconcini making party!

Fried Bocconcini with Spicy Tomato Sauce – oh golly, these were a hit.  Yes, more advance prep makes things easier and of course, if you have two willing helpers, that expedites things as well!  Soft, fresh mozzarella is what we used, cut into smaller pieces and shaped into balls.  The recipe does call for Bocconcini, small balls of mozz, but I didn’t have any.  If you bread these ahead of time and refrigerate them, they will keep overnight and then are easily cooked just before serving.


Avocado Mango Salad, Oven Roasted Corn in Chile Coconut Milk, Lake Trout Cakes with Red Pepper Chipotle Lime Sauce

Baked Lake Trout Cakes with Red Pepper Chipotle Lime Sauce – Gina over at uses Lump Crab Meat, but you’ll see from my photo gallery how I baked the Lake Trout, de-boned and skinned it, and used the moist and flaky meat as a substitute for crab.  I then fried the combination in my deep fryer using Canola Oil.

Mango Avocado Salad -worth it to purchase the Black Sesame Seeds if you don’t already have them – delicious and so pretty!  This was the perfect side to our Trout Cakes.

Oven Roasted Corn in Chile Coconut Milk -this could stand on its own as a meal for me, but it also accompanied the Lake Trout beautifully and everyone thought the sweet and the spicy were a happy new way to celebrate Corn-on-the-Cob!


Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake -sadly I did not have a springform pan to prepare this in, but Megan at Delicious Dishings has a great adaptation of the Cook’s Illustrated recipe for this Pièce de résistance of a Dessert!  The side story, here, is that because I’d committed myself to this recipe creation the evening before, I had to forego an opportunity to see Bonnie Raitt in concert -boo hoo hoo.  As a consolation, I blasted my collection of her c.d.’s for background music whilst in the kitchen.  So, hereafter, I will call this my “Bonnie Raitt Cake” recipe!

Cheesecake filled strawberries

and, last, but not least, Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries -by now you may all have seen, sampled or prepared your own version of this recipe and know that they are scrumptious.  I had to make two batches(translate: 4 quarts!) because the kids ate the first batch the night before.  They were just SO good!

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