Lancaster Perch Rolls
Growing up along the St. Lawrence in Eastern Ontario, meant enjoying many of the recreational opportunities this magnificent river provided. One of the best spots for fishing along the river is on the widening between Glen Walter and Valleyfield called Lake St. Francis. Generations of hard working locals would escape on weekends and during summer vacation to cottages and boats along this stretch of the river. They would get out on the river early, when it was calm, before the scorching summer sun and hope that the fish were biting. The were usually after perch but often hooked pike, bass or the odd eel. Now adays, the perch aren’t quite as abundant and pricey perch platters and perch rolls are only sold, when available, at a handful of local restaurants. If you’re lucky enough to catch your own, you’ll want to enjoy the distinct succulent, almost sweet flavour of the fresh perch caught along this segment of the river, in a traditional perch roll.
The local way of serving fresh perch has been to filet it, dredge it in flour, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then pan fry in butter for a couple of minutes per side. At this point you could either serve a perch platter or make a perch roll topped with perch roll sauce. While recipes vary a bit, I think our family recipe is the closest to being perfect.
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp dry mustard
- ½ cup milk
- 1½ tbsp flour
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ½ cup white vinegar
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- In a small saucepan, cook Part 1 ingredients until thick. Stir with a whisk.
- In a double boiler, bring water to a boil (lower pot); to upper pot stir Part 2 ingredients until sugar has dissolved. If you don't have a double boiler, an easy way to dissolve the sugar is to put it along with the vinegar, in a large mug then microwave it on high for 30 seconds.
- Combine both parts and simmer.
- Toast some hotdog or sausage buns. Add pan fried perch (you can substitute pickerel) and top generously with the sauce.