Residents of Greenpoint, Brooklyn have a wealth of culinary treasures in their neighborhood, but when it comes to shopping for and dining upon domestic, wild-caught seafood, Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. simply can’t be beat. Their underutilized, invasive and bycatch offerings help reduce overfishing, and if you’ve never made bluefish — a delicious option packed with healthy fatty acids — you’re in for a treat. Their smoked bluefish pate makes a perfect appetizer for fish fiends everywhere. Pick up a filet or two and get crackin’!
- Bluefish fillets
- 1/2 cup salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 quart cold water
- 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 ounce worcestershire sauce
- 1 ounce fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 cup chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup red onion, minced
- 4 dashes hot sauce
- 1/4 cup minced chives
- 1 pound skinless, boneless smoked bluefish, flaked
- Toasts or crackers, for serving
For the smoking
Brine filets in a solution of 1/2 cup salt and a 1/2 cup brown sugar dissolved in a quart of cold water.
You can tailor the brine to your individual taste, adding soy sauce, a dash or two of hot sauce, or a bay leaf, for example. We usually put our filets in a gallon sized zip-lock bag and place them in the ‘fridge for about three hours, but you can let them go for longer if you like. When the three hours are up, we remove the filets, rinse them, and set them on a wire rack over a baking sheet to dry. Smoke doesn’t stick well to wet surfaces, so you want the surface of the fish to dry out and form a sort of skin, called a “pellicule.” Dry filets in the refrigerator. Average sized filets are usually ready in about three hours. Once the pellicule has formed, we sprinkle them with a bit of paprika for color, and fire up the smoker.
Use hickory chips. When the smoker is around 200ºF, we add the presoaked wood chips to the coals, and put the filets skin-side down on the grill grates.
After roughly three hours on the smoker at 175º to 200º, the filets should take on a deep honey brown color. They should have a good smoky crust, but still remain moist on the inside. When they are done, we remove the filets from the grill and set them aside to cool. Once cooled, we separate the skin from the meat being careful to remove any bones and gather ingredients for the pate.
For the pate
In a bowl, blend the cream cheese with the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, parsley, onion, hot sauce and 3/4 of the chives. Fold the smoked bluefish into the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle the remaining chives on top and serve with toasts.