Greetings, all. I thought I'd report on my lastest project. The bluefish are just starting to appear in the northeast, and I figured it was worth some experimentation. For those of you that aren't familiar with bluefish (I had never seen one until I moved east), they're voracious eaters with oily flesh like salmon. I've often seen bluefish listed as an "alternative ingredient" for smoked salmon recipes, and that got me thinking...
So, I cured a couple of freshly caught (by me!) bluefish fillets using a recipe for gravlax (salt, white pepper, and LOTS of dill). I knew they would taste good, but I was worried about their appearance, as the raw bluefish fillet looks a bit gray and unappetizing (see the photo below). Fortunately, when it's sliced thin an put on the plate, they don't look too bad. I cured them for about 36 hours, rinsed off the cure and dill, decided they were too salty, and put them in cold water for about 5 hours. The final product was outstanding. It makes a nice appetizer served with crackers and a whipped cream, horseradish, and mustard sauce.
Since this went so well, I might try to do some cold-smoked bluefish in the fall, as the blues keep getting bigger and bigger through October.