By Jim Casada

Bream (a generic catch-all word for a variety of panfish including bluegills, sun perch, shellcrackers and the like) are plentiful about anywhere there is a pond, creek, river or lake, and they can be caught in a variety of ways. Indeed, they might well be recognized as “everyman’s fish,” and there’s no finer way to start a youngster out than waiting for a bream to make a bobber bounce. Happily, these prolific fish also provide fine table fare in forms ranging from fried fillets or the whole fish dressed up in a cornmeal dinner jacket and deep fried, but this recipe elevates the humble bream to the level of gourmet fare without requiring a great deal of work.

Bream fillets
Shredded Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and arrange the fillets in it in a single layer. Sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese. Arrange another layer of fish over the cheese and then top with more cheese. Continue layering until there are three or four layers of fish. Bake for about 40 minutes, watching closely so fish doesn’t overcook. Serve immediately.

TIP:  Crappie fillets can be prepared in the same fashion.

—Jim Casada is the author of Field to Feast: The Remington Cookbook.