Usually boiling fish is not a good practice and I would have to discourage it unless you are A. making chowder or B. doing a Door County fish boil. Kevin and I always make it a point when we are in Bayfield, WI to stop at the fish boil at a little bed and breakfast in town. Then we decided we would try it at home. How easy is a fish boil? Well, if you can boil water, you can do a fish boil!
It starts with a nice, hot fire. (Kevin's job) We have some bricks that we put in the fire pit and a round grate on top of the bricks. Kevin builds a hot fire and we put on a big pot of water that has about a cup of salt in it.The best fish to use in a fish boil are whitefish. I order about three whole whitefish from Morey's. I use an electric knife and cut them into steaks. You need a five pound bag of red potatos, three good sized onions, three lemons and lot of tartar sauce and melted butter.The first thing to go into the water is the potatos. Cook them for about ten minutes. Add the onions, cook for another 10 minutes. Wrap the whitefish in cheesecloth and drop them in at the last. Cook for another fifteen minutes. Check the whitefish by poking it with a fork. It should be flaky.Now comes the fun part! Flashing the fire! No, don't lift your shirt up, silly. Grab a bottle of lighter fluid after you are sure everything is cooked. Stand a little bit away and pour the lighter fluid onto the fire. Do not use gasoline! Why do we do this? So the fire gets hotter and boils the pot over and in doing so, the fishy oils and impurities that have floated to the top are now in the fire pit instead of your food. Perfect! Time to chow!
Don't buy a ton of tartar sauce, make your own. It's super simple and tastes better than most of the crap you buy at the store. Put a cup of mayo in a bowl and add half a cup of pickle relish and however much garlic you can stand. That's it! Serve your fish boil by draining the water from the pot and dumping everything onto a cookie sheet or baking pan. Your guests can scoop up what they want and pour butter over it to their hearts content.
Finish it off with a sweet dessert. Paulie brought goat cheesecakes with strawberries. The tradition Door County dessert is cherry cobbler but anything will work. After your fish boil, make sure you leave enough time to take a nice, long Sunday afternoon nap! You will need it after that backyard feast!