Friday, November 10, 2006
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Gulf of Mexico
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Pompano or Amberjack
"All the fish in the jack family (the most familiar around here are
pompano and amberjack) have a higher-than-average oil content, and so are
perfect for smoking. This will work for either fish, as well as for salmon
or tuna. The fish picks up a terrific smoke flavor throughout, without
getting a barbecued taste.
My technique is instructed by Chef Roland Huet, the original chef at
Christian's, who developed this for that restaurant's great smoked
3 large pompanos
or 2 small (two-pound) amberjacks
1 pound salt
1/2 pound brown sugar
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1. Fillet and skin
the fish. If using amberjack, remove the big blood line that runs through
2. Dissolve the
other ingredients in a gallon of cold water. Marinate the fish in the brine
for twelve hours, refrigerated.
3. Using a fruit
wood (cherry, apple, or grapevine), cold-smoke the fish at 75 degrees (or,
if it's hotter than that, no higher than outdoor temperature) for two hours.
4. Slice the fish
at a very narrow bias into slices as thick as a nickel. Serve dressed with
extra-virgin olive oil, dill, and cracked black peppercorns.
Serves 12 appetizers.
More from Tom
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