Prep 15 mins
Cook 20 mins
The American Shad, largest member of the herring family, Alosa Sapidissima, is a beauty of a fish. Shad migrate from their saltwater habitat to spawn in fresh water, thus their common name "poor man's salmon". Peak season in South Carolina occurs in February and March. Despite its relatively short season of about three months, shad fishing was a major part of the economy and culture of the Atlantic Coast. Over a hundred years ago along the Susquehanna River, the fish peddler announced fresh shad for sale with a loud shout – Shad-o-e! – accompanied by a loud blast from his brass horn. From the Southern chapter of the United States Regional Cookbook, Culinary Arts Institute of Chicago, 1947.
- 4 lbs shad
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1⁄2 cup butter, melted
- 2 cups mashed potatoes, hot
- parsley, for garnish
- lemon, for garnish
- Clean and dress fish.
- Broil for ten minutes; place on a hot, buttered plank, skin side down.
- Season well, pour melted butter over the top and bake at 400F for 15 minutes.
- Protect plank from scorching by coating with damp salt, excluding the parts not covered by the fish. (The salt dries and is easily removed before mashed potato is added.).
- Remove plank from oven and pipe mashed potatoes decoratively around fish.
- Return to oven until potatos are golden and fish well done.
- Garnish with parsley and lemon slices.