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Stein's sturgeon smackdown, and preparation for leviathan feast

Behold the leviathan! That homely fellow on the left is fishing guide Jerry Brown.
Cheryl DeGroot
Behold the leviathan! That homely fellow on the left is fishing guide Jerry Brown.

That sturgeon shot out of the water like a Polaris missile late for its appointment with apocalypse.

This was but my second fishing trip in 50 years and I was unsure what to do. "What do I do?" I yelled. 

"Reel it in!" everyone yelled back. Oh. Yeah.

And yes, I know it should be me – the guy who caught it – holding that sturgeon up by its gills. It's just that I don't care for that kind of intimacy with anything that stopped evolving 200 million years ago. Not that I'm judgmental or anything.

The poker dealer

There's nothing better than smoked sturgeon, and I'm giving some of my filets to Jane the Antichrist to smoke for me. Jane's the wife of Jerry, the fishing guide pictured above. 

Besides being an  expert sturgeon-smoker, she's  also a poker dealer. I gave her that nickname after teasingly quoting a Doc Holliday line from the movie Tombstone. "You may be the antichrist," I told her just before she dealt out the three face-up cards of a Hold Em flop.  And the cards she dealt were 666.

Jane smiled sweetly. "Bet that one, Dick." But I digress.

I still have the fresh sturgeon to deal with. I think I'll just sautee it in olive oil and butter with a little salt and pepper. Maybe some capers  as per NancyLeson's suggestion.

Play the audio above for the full exchange of our fish preferences, including why I don't like salmon. Later today, I plan to present a report with photos of how my fresh sturgeon dinner turned out.

"Fishing is boring unless you catch an actual fish.  Then it is disgusting."
– Dave Barry

Food for Thought” is a weekly KPLU feature covering the world of food as well as the thinking that goes into it. The feature is published here and airs on KPLU 88.5 every Wednesday during Morning Edition and All Things Considered. 

Dick Stein joined KNKX in January 1992. He retired in 2020 after three decades on air. During his storied radio career, he hosted the morning jazz show, co-hosted and produced "Food for Thought" with Nancy Leson and wrote and directed the Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen.