Fish is a great meal after a day at the lake. As a low-fat source of protein and hearth-healthy omega-3s, fish provide a lot of great health benefits. However, fish are also packed with chemicals from swimming in bodies of water that have been polluted with PCBs, dioxins, mercury and other substances.
As you're fixing to make a meal from one of Michigan's 11,000 streams, rivers or lakes, follow the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services' 2016 regional Eat Safe Fish Guides to choose, clean and cook fish in a way that ensures you're minimizing your exposure to chemicals.
As a general rule of thumb, it's safer to avoid large predator fish and bottom-feeders. Smaller fish tend to have fewer chemicals. Please check out this regional guide for more information on how much fish you can safely consume.
Some chemicals collect in the fat of fish. While cleaning the fish, trim away any of the fat you can see in addition to removing and throwing away the organs. Cut away fat along the back, the side and the belly.
Even after trimming away fat, some fat remains hidden inside the fish filets. Poke holes in the skin or remove it completely so that fat can drip away from the filet as it cooks. It also helps to cook your fish on a grill or on a broiler pan in the oven. Any remaining fat from the fish can drip away through the gates.
If you need a fresh idea for your waterfront cook out, check out this recipe.
GRILLED SALMON SKEWERS WITH GARLIC AND DIJON
Ingredients for Salmon Lemon Kebobs:
1.5 pounds salmon fillets, cut into 1-inch squares
2 large lemons thinly sliced
16 (10-inch) bamboo skewers
Ingredients for Marinade:
2 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
2 large garlic cloves, pressed
½ tablespoon of Dijon Mustard
½ teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon of ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of light olive oil (not extra virgin, pick something with a higher smoke point)
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
Preparation: Soak bamboo skewers for least an hour to keep them from catching fire, and preheat the grill to medium heat (bout 375˚F).
1. In a medium bowl, stir together all of the ingredients for the marinade.
2. Skewer the salmon and lemon slices, folding the lemon slices in half, onto two skewers at a time and brush both sides of skewers with the marinade.
3. Oil the grill grates and grill kebobs for three or four minutes per side until the salmon is cooked through and opaque.
Photo and recipe courtesy of Natasha's Kitchen.