Smoked Bluefish Paté
Hawkeye and I were sharing recipes at the Mass Striped Bass event in Plymouth and I told him how I do Smoked Bluefish Paté. He said I ought to share it with the board, which I now have reason to do. I caught my first bluefish of the season on Monday, brined it overnight, smoked it Tuesday, and made the first '02 batch this way:
2 medium fillets smoked bluefish (4-5 cups when crumbled?)
2 8-oz. Packages of Kraft Philly cream cheese (at room temperature)
Juice of 1˝ fresh lemons (more or less to taste)
2-3 tablespoons horseradish (more or less to taste)
˝ cup chopped chives (or scallions or finely chopped white onion)
Coarsely ground black pepper
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
Crumble the fish in a ceramic bowl
Add the lemon juice and cream cheese
Blend with a kitchen fork to a rough paste
Add horseradish, chives, pepper, and Worcestershire to taste
Chill and serve
I don't scale or skin the fillets. The scale-side down on the smoker rack means easy removal and little or no clean-up. I smoke with a combination of alder and apple in a Little Chief (thanks to advice from this board). I smoke wet first, then dry. With the skin and scales on, I smoke for a full eight hours.
Mixing by hand in a bowl creates a coarser paté, which I prefer. A blender or food processor will give you a smoother result. I put this up in 12-oz Tupperware bowls, freezing some and refrigerating the rest. It keeps well.
Serve on Bremner wafers, Carr's crackers, Triscuits, Wheat thins-anything with a little crunch and salt. Something about smoked bluefish cries out for a gin and tonic-cold, fresh Schweppes in the small bottles to keep it bubbly. A toast to you all.