© Copyright 1995-2017, Clay Irving <email@example.com>, Manhattan Beach, CA USA
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Along the East coast there's always an abundant supply of fresh fish. In the Spring there's fresh mackerel, and the Bluefish in the Fall, are my favorites for smoking.
This recipe will work with Mackerel, Bluefish, Salmon, and even Cod. If you catch the fish yourself, cut through their throat to bleed them while they're still alive. Put them head down in a bucket so they'll pump out as much blood as possible. Wash and chill the whole fish until you can fillet them. Early in the morning of the day you're going to smoke wash 4 to 6 fillets and place them in a brine made from:
1 quart cold water
⅓ cup Kosher salt
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon black, red or other peppers (spices) to taste
Mix this together in a glass or enamel bowl add the fish and submerge the fillets with a weight to hold them under the brine. Brine the fillets in the refrigerator from 2 to 4 hours (longer makes the fish saltier).
Remove the fillets and wipe dry with paper towels. Place them, skin side down, on several thicknesses of dry paper towels and let them air dry for several hours. The surface is dry enough when your finger sticks to the flesh.
Hot smoke over a 250°F wood fire for about 2 hours or until the fillets are firm to the touch (like medium rare steak). Peel off the skin and enjoy.