There is some Arctic Char living in our freezer, not 1, not even 2 but I believe there are 4. A friend of ours, who spends time up in Baffin Island has befriended some fishermen. And fortunately for us, this friend does not own a freezer (he's a bit of a nomad)
After some communication with another friend living in the way North we devised a menu around “our” Arctic Char. The considerations were based on traditional foods (the char, blueberries, and bannock) and what they can actually get up there. And by get up there, I refer to the fact that their groceries must be able to withstand being flown, dropped out of planes and manhandled often.
We took 2 of the char out of the freezer , with one we stuffed it with some chopped onion & garlic, seasoned with salt & pepper, wrapped it in foil and baked it for about an hour. We made a Blueberry Balsamic sauce for it (it didn't need it) and served with roasted potatoes & carrots.
We finished our meal with bannock and home made jam.
To make bannock:
4 cups white flour
2 tsp salt
½ cup vegetable oil or lard
4 cups water
¼ cup powdered milk
Mix all dry ingredients. Cut in the lard with 2 knives. Make a well, and then slowly pour in water until mixture becomes doughy. From here, you can make little balls and flatten them on a cookie sheet and bake for about ½ hour. You can also wrap bits of dough around sticks and roast over them over a fire. This time, we chose to pan fry them in oil.....we set the fire alarm off twice doing it this way, but it was well worth it!
We worked hard at eating a lot of the char, but alas between the 4 of us we didn't make a big dent. The heads, tails and bones of both char went into the big soup pot.....and we ended up with a big yummy pot of chowder.....which we called “Arctic Char-der” We dined on this chowder for the next 3 meals.
With some of the meat from the baked fish, we made fish cakes, well enjoyed by all 5 of us (we ran out of cat food, so Cyrus got a taste for a couple of meals)
But, the highlight of our Char experience, was when Shawn fired up the smoker, sliced the char, used the last little bit of our own maple syrup for a glaze, and smoked it.....