Recipe: Alewife & Cucumber Crackers

I happened upon some Lake Michigan alewife, so I ate some.

Near Lake Michigan, happening upon alewife usually mean the rotting mess of mass alewife die-offs.  Like this:

Credit: Phil Moy, Wisconsin Sea Grant

Or these.  This is not how I happened upon mine, luckily.  No, mine emerged from from the water alive and skipping.

Alewife are actually pretty delicate, they shed their scales at the slightest provocation.  Good for Prep!
Alewife are actually pretty delicate, they shed their scales at the slightest provocation. Good for Prep! Credit; A. Deines

These alewife reminded me of nothing so much as sardines.  They are, in fact, both members of the Clupeidae family along with other old-man favorites like herring.  Harking back to the first time I tried sardines while sailing with my grandfather, I thought it appropriate to just go with some crackers.  Like the hard-tack of the salty-sea-dogs of yore, but classed up a bit.

Recipe: Alewife & Cucumber Crackers

[amd-recipeseo-recipe:6]

To clean the alewife lay the fish flat on a cutting board and with a strong, sharp knife cut clear through the fish along the line shown.
Cleaned Alewife
The cleaned & gutted alewife are like these in the bottom right. I also tried filleting (center), which worked but was a pain compared to how easy the flesh and bone separate after cooking. Credit: A. Deines
panfry alewife
Pan-frying the alewife in butter. Credit: A. Deines
Alewife with cucumber on cracker
Alewife & Cucumber Crackers.  Credit: A. Deines

Enjoy!

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