The U.S. Department of the Interior has compiled its favorite recipes of dishes that "include ingredients you can hunt, fish, or forage on public lands," and has given GPM permission to reprint their creations here. Before you fire up your campfire or woodstove, however, DOI reminds us:
Hunting and fishing are outdoor activities with tasty results. Before you go after game or cast your line, check out our hunting and fishing guides so that you can make sure you’re following the rules, have the federal and state licenses you need and are keeping safe.
On many public lands, gathering natural, renewable products — such as fruits, berries, nuts or sea shells — is permitted, subject to certain conditions set by each location or state office. Be sure to check nps.gov, fws.gov, blm.gov or the websites of specific parks and national wildlife refuges for the most up-to-date information on availabilities and quantity limits before going to pick plants. Always make sure to properly identify plants before picking them, as some can be hazardous.
Brook Trout and Wildflower Tacos
These fresh fish tacos are an easy and delicious meal that can be made in the kitchen or on a campsite! Bureau of Land Management employee Emma Freeland recommends using brook trout for this recipe. These fish prefer small streams and ponds ranging from the northeastern United States to the Appalachian Mountains and west to Minnesota. Try casting a line at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, Sunkhaze Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Maine and Leopold Wetland Management District in Wisconsin to catch brook trout for these delectable tacos. We hope you enjoy this tasty treat!
3 brook trout
Mountain bluebells — collect a sizeable handful of leaves and a small handful of flowers.
Violets — collect a sizeable handful of leaves and a small handful of flowers
2 tablespoons butter
6 corn tortillas
4 ounces cream cheese
Handful of basil, stems removed
1 cup sweet potato, boiled, cooked and mashed with salt and pepper (optional)
1 avocado, sliced
Salt to taste
Clean the trout and salt lightly.
Pan fry them whole, skin on, in a skillet with the butter.
While the trout is cooking, assemble the tacos: layer cream cheese, sweet potato, basil, avocado, and just the leaves from the bluebells and violets on the tortillas.
When the fish are cooked through, remove from heat and delicately slide the fish off the bone. Put a small amount of trout in each taco.
Top the tacos with flowers.
Heat each taco briefly in a dry skillet to warm the tortilla.
Serve tacos open so you can see the flowers before you eat them.
Photo courtesy of Emma Freeland, Bureau of Land Management employee