RECIPES WALLEYE By: Jenny Nguyen Blackened Drum with Avocado Salad and Roasted Squash Don't throw that drum back in the water; freshwater drum can be filleted the same as other fish and taste great prepared with blackened seasoning Blackened drum served over creamy avocado salad with a side of roasted butternut squash. (Jenny Nguyen photo) If I go fishing for walleye, chances are, I’ll catch as many if not more drum. While I keep them, most fishermen I know throw them back. It’s strange what people consider what’s good and not good to eat. Drum are no more difficult to clean than any crappie or bluegill, and they also taste quite similar. If your aim is to catch fish for the table, I suggest throwing drum in your live well rather than back the next time you’re on the water. Serves: 4 Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes Total time: 30 minutes Ingredients: 2 pounds of boneless, skinless drum fillets ¼ cup of Hungarian paprika 1 tablespoon of dried thyme 2 teaspoons of onion powder 1 teaspoon of garlic powder ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper Kosher salt, to taste Ground black pepper, to taste 3-4 tablespoons of butter Favorite salad greens Sliced red onion 1 large ripe avocado, diced French vinaigrette 1 butternut squash, peeled and seeded 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil Directions: Mix paprika, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and salt to make blackened seasoning. (Jenny Nguyen photo) 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut butternut squash into large cubes and lay on a baking sheet. Toss with salt, pepper, olive oil and your favorite herbs. Bake for 30 minutes, or until tender and edges are browned. Meanwhile, combine paprika, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt – mix well. Coat drum fillets in melted butter and blackened seasoning before cooking in skillet. (Jenny Nguyen photo) 2. Rinse fish under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and set aside to cool slightly. Next, heat another 2-3 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Lightly coat the fish in the melted butter and roll into the blackened spice mixture. Repeat. Cook in the skillet until fish is cooked through and the seasonings darken on both sides, about 5 minutes. 3. Serve fish with butternut squash and salad tossed with French vinaigrette, red onion and diced avocado – add salt and pepper to your salad as necessary. About This Drum Recipe Drum, like many white-fleshed freshwater fish, will take on any flavors you apply to them. Blackened seasoning is an easy way to add a nice kick to otherwise mild-tasting fish. And while I don’t prescribe to any diets, I do try to eat as few carbs as possible. Serve this blackened drum dish with a creamy avocado salad and roasted butternut squash for a satisfying meal.