September 29, 2012 at 10:44am
White boots is correct, you have to trim the red line. I also cut out the dull grey matter on the front top. Drum is a great fish to eat, and we have it two times per week. The size doesn't matter unless its huge, mostly because they get hard to clean, and those are the spawners so let them do their thing.
We sautee them, grill them, blacken them, bake them, & shake and bake them. Its a great fish. Like all fish, it needs to be fresh, kept on ice until cooking, and don't overcook it which will dry them out (check inside with fork, if the fork is warm, the fish is done).
Let me put it this way: all the local restaurants with REAL chefs feature drum. There must be a reason. And, at Hopedale, I see the commercial fishermen come in all the time with 10-15 lb drum for the restaurants. They catch them up on trotlines rigged with crab. The 'too big with worms' issue is mostly a wives' tale. Also, the worms don't just occur in drum, but in most fish, they are harmless, and they dissolve when cooked.
Simple ways that can't go wrong (don't overcook!):
1) marinate with seasoning, put on charcoal grill. We like leaving the skin on, but there are pros and cons to this. The skin helps keep them from falling apart, and we mostly cook skin down then a quick flip. The con is the eating part since you have scales on your plate, and you have to work around the dark meat. However, this really isn't a big deal.
2) put in batter (cornmeal, Panko bread, etc), season, saute in olive oil.
3) shake and bake (put lots of olive oil on bottom of pan)
4) blacken on cast iron skill outside (follow Paul Prudhomme's instructions to the letter)
Add a crab meat or wine sauce to impress wife or girlfriend