Heirloom Pickerel Dinner

Our family loves to eat this tasty freshwater fish.  So much so that we eagerly await opening season in May and head out to *try* and catch dinner.  Sometimes we come back empty handed and therefore resort to cooking hamburgers for dinner, and of course sulk the entire time we are eating.

But when we are able to bring back some of these tasty morsels of the fish world, we are like kids at Christmas time.  Absolutely and positively excited about the dinner that is soon to hit the table.

This recipe is from my husband’s grandmother.  I was introduced to it way back when I was dating my future husband and have been cooking it this way ever since.  Which is going on some 30+ years.  She had been making it for many, many years before that, so I am thinking this recipe is as old as the hills.

Start off with some freshly caught and fileted pickerel (skin off).  I don’t do the fileting, we would be eating something else if it was left for me to do.  Hubby is great at it though.  There is a narrow strip of bones down the middle of each filet that need to be taken out and he learned this tip from his Grandpa when he was youngster and still filets them the same way.  Nothing worse than picking fish bones out of your teeth in my opinion.


4 pickerel filets (2 fish)

1 sleeve of Saltine Crackers (un-salted tops), finely crushed.


Olive Oil

2 Cups Water

2 tsp. Salt

2 cups Buttermilk *


Soak fish filets in a bowl of salted water for at least 2 hours; drain, rinse and then soak filets in the Buttermilk for another hour.

DSC06826Drain and rinse filets and pat dry with papertowels.  Thoroughly coat filets in the crushed cracker crumbs and place on a foil lined baking sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

DSC06827Liberally sprinkle filets with Paprika and drizzle lightly with Olive Oil.

DSC06828Bake in a pre-heated 375°F oven for about 20-25 minutes, depending on the thickness of your filets.  Fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork.

Serve with lemon wedges and enjoy!

Serves 2

* Buttermilk can be made at home by taking 1 cup of milk and adding 1 Tbsp of Lemon Juice or Vinegar.  Stir and let sit for a few minutes and then use as directed above.

4 thoughts on “Heirloom Pickerel Dinner

  1. Thank you for your kind comments, yes, if you suscribe to the RSS feeds, you will be notified on your browser menu bar of new updates. You have a great day too!

  2. LOL! are you kidding? do you know how expensive pickerel is to buy????? it’s crazy. besides, it’s much better if you catch it. ya know where it came from 🙂

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