I love to make believers out of people who think they hate Bluefish and now during a fishing season where Bluefish abound, I have many opportunities.
I remember when I was invited to cook at the James Beard House, I composed a menu of local ingredients and included Bluefish. One of the program directors called me with horror in their voice as he questioned my choice. I had to pacify him with promises of a unique and delicious experience and, as a result, many gourmands were converted that day.
Hot-smoked bluefish is simple and sublime as the tang of the Tamerind stands up to the sweet and smokey flesh of this delicious and sustainable fish that you can prepare on your grill tented with aluminum or in a stove top smoker.
Two hours before cooking prepare the fish with the following:
2 fillets (skin off) from a just caught bluefish with blood line removed
Sprinkle with two teaspoons of North Fork Sea Salt
A generous sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons, olive oil
3 limes, juiced
2 tablespoons freshly ground pepper
Coat thoroughly and return to fridge
Preheat grill to medium. Lay smoking chips on a tray and cover with a piece of aluminum. Then lay the fish on the clean piece of aluminum. Then lay another piece of aluminum on top of the fish and lay on the grill. Then cover with a large sheet pan to help smoke the fish. Otherwise place in stove top smoker.
Cook for 20 to 30 minutes until done. Remove from heat and generously coat with your Tamarind barbecue sauce and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Slide whole fillet into large serving tray and garnish with fresh herbs and lemon slices. Brush with additional tamarind sauce and have more sauce for the table. This sauce is also delicious with fresh corn bread, baked sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts.
Remember that Bluefish should be freshly caught so you should consider getting on a local fishing charter, like the Peconic Star and catch your own. See you on the high seas!