Sunday, August 29, 2010

what a day !! (with recipes and photos)

oh, what a day...big success food-wise, for sure !

Everything came out soooo everything brining, drying and marinating....spent the afternoon drinking beer in the backyard...then cooking, and feasting !!

Going to try and record everything here - hope I remember it all !!

Photos :

Pirate Beers :)

Finished Finnan Haddie

Asian Crispy Fish

Dinner !

Finnan Haddie

Yield – 4.25 lbs Finnan Haddie (Smoked Haddock)


For Making the Brine and Brining the Fish

2 gallons Water

8 ounces Kosher Salt

2 ounces Sugar

3 ea Bay Leaves

1 tsp Black Peppercorns

5 lbs Haddock Fillets

For Smoking the Haddock

Cherry or Alder Wood for Smoking (amount needed will depend on smoker used – should be about 4-6 ounces of wood)

Brined and Dried Fish from Above


For Making the Brine and Brining the Fish

1. Combine the water, salt, sugar, bay leaves and black peppercorns in an appropriate sized pot and bring mixture to a boil to dissolve the salt.

2. Once the brine has reached a boil turn the heat off and remove the brine from the stove and allow it to cool completely by either setting it aside at room temperature until cool (will take at least a couple of hours) or cool in an ice bath to speed process

3. Once the brine has cooled to room temperature place the brine and fish together in a non reactive dish (plastic works well for this) that can hold both.

4. Place the fish and brine into the refrigerator and allow them to sit for 1.5 hours

5. Once the fish has been brined for 1.5 hours remove the fish from the brine and set the fillets onto smoking racks.

6. Place the smoking racks into a refrigerator with the fillets and allow them to dry
7. Once the fillets have dried in the refrigerator the fish is ready to be smoked

For Smoking The Haddock

Prepare the smoker for use by placing a few pieces of smoking wood (if using chunks of wood or a handful of chipped wood if using that) into the smoker and turn the smoker on low to get the wood smoking.

Once the smoker is smoking turn the smoker off (the wood should continue to burn once it is started) and add the fish and smoke for an hour or so

Set it aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Coconut-Citrus-Marinated Ceviche with Mango Pico de Gallo

This recipe is an adaptation from Mod Mex by Scott Linquist (Andrews McMeel 2007)

* * * * * Ceviche * * * * *

¾ cup canned coconut milk

¼ cup lime juice

¼ cup orange juice

2 tablespoons lemon juice

¼ cup rice vinegar

1 tablespoon Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce

½ habanero chile, seeded, membrane removed, and cut lengthwise

1 tablespoon peeled and chopped fresh ginger

Kosher salt

2 pounds raw FRESH fish, cut in 1-inch cubes - or cooked lobster or shellfish (see notes)

* * * * * Mango Pico de Gallo * * * * *

2 cups diced mango

1 cup diced red onion

½ cup diced red bell pepper

½ cup diced poblano chiles

1 habanero chile, seeds and membranes removed, diced

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

2 tablespoons orange juice

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon kosher salt


Make the Ceviche: If using raw fish : In a nonreactive bowl, mix together all of the ceviche ingredients except coconut milk, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Mix in coconut milk before serving. If using cooked shellfish, mix everything together at once and refrigerate for one hour. (if using a mix, just mix methods - keeping in mind that the raw fish doesn't "cook" well with the coconut milk mixed in.

Make the pico de gallo: In a medium-size bowl, stir together the ingredients for the Mango Pico de Gallo and set aside.

To serve, spoon ceviche into bowl and garnish with Pico de Gallo .

Asian Crispy Whole Cod 

(adapted from

Prep Time: 30 minutes * Cook Time: 30 minutes * Total Time: 60 minutes


1 whole (but scaled and gutted) cod, 2 -3 pounds 

3 chopped green onions

A 1-inch piece of finely chopped, peeled ginger

1 T. Chinese cooking wine (or Japanese Mirin)

1 T. soy sauce

1 t. freshly ground black pepper

A 3-inch piece of peeled ginger, minced

1/2 medium onion

3 cloves garlic

1/2 finely chopped habanero chile, or 1-2 Thai chiles or 1 serrano

5 T. water

5 T. tomato sauce 

3 T. sugar

1 T. Chinese cooking wine (or Japanese Mirin)

1 T. soy sauce

2 T. sambal paste

1 1/2 t. corn starch

1 1/2 t. water

1 T finely chopped cilantro

1 T. finely chopped green onions or chives

4 cups peanut or vegetable oil

1 cups flour for dredging


Prepare the fish. Cut off the fins of each fish with kitchen shears or scissors. Remove the gills of the fish if they are still attached by cutting them out with the kitchen shears. Make three vertical slices along each side of the fish evenly spaced along its length. If you have a long fish, make four slices. Rinse the fish under cold water and pat dry.

Marinate the fish. Mix the 3 chopped green onions, the 1-inch piece of finely chopped ginger, the tablespoon of Chinese cooking wine, the tablespoon of soy sauce and the black pepper together, then pour the mixture into a glass or plastic container, or a Ziploc bag. Place the fish in the container and make sure the marinade surrounds the fish.

Let this sit in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Prepare the vegetables. Mince the 3-inch piece of ginger. Slice the 1/2 onion into very thin half-moons. Slice the garlic cloves as thinly as you can along the long side of the clove to make long pieces.

Pour the oil into a wok and turn the heat on to medium. (If you do not have a wok, use the largest, deepest skillet you have)

Make the sauce. Mix the tomato sauce, sugar, soy sauce, Chinese cooking wine and sambal. Make a paste of the water and corn starch and whisk in to the sauce. Stir vigorously to combine. Set it aside.

Take the fish out of the fridge.

Check the oil temperature. You want it to be about 300-325 degrees. If you do not have a thermometer (you should buy one!) the oil is ready when a drop of water tossed into the oil boils away immediately.

Fry the fish. Remove the fish from the marinade and dredge in flour. Shake off excess, and when the oil is at hot, slip the fish into the oil.
Fry the fish for at least 5 minutes per side. You want it to be golden brown. With 300-degree oil, I will fry a 1-pound fish for 8 minutes on the first side, 5 minutes on the other side. Larger fish will need more time.

When the fish are done, ladle out all but about 1/4 cup of oil. Toss in the slivered ginger, the onion, the chiles and the slivered garlic and stir-fry over high heat for 2-3 minutes.

Add the sauce and stir well to combine. Bring this to a rapid boil and stir well. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

To serve, pour some sauce on a plate, place the fish on top of it and garnish with the finely chopped chives and cilantro. This dish goes best with simple steamed white rice.

Coconut Rice

1 cup water
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup Jasmati rice
2 T shredded coconut
scallions to garnish

Make rice according to package directions, substituting coconut milk for half the water and adding shredded coconut. Garnish with scallions.

Asian Slaw

1 package coleslaw mix (just veggies)
1 package broccoli slaw
1 bottle sesame ginger dressing
1 T toasted sesame oil

Mix and serve :)

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful - and what a great day to be feasting and drinking beer in the back yard!