My Awesome Bradley Smoker: Hot-smoking Rainbow Trout, Sockeye Salmon, & Cod

Rainbow Trout is great for hot-smoking because it has a high fat content.  Any fatty fish smokes really well, including salmon, cod, halibut, sea bass, mackerel etc.  I don’t usually brine my fish before I smoke it because I really enjoy the natural flavours of the trout and don’t feel as though it needs the brine for moisture purposes (the fatty-ness keeps the fish really moist).  All I do is brush a little bit of maple syrup on the pieces of fish and season with salt and pepper and then add them to my smoker, at about 200 degrees, for 20-30 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fillet).  I use either maple wood chips or hickory, each of which produces very contrasting end products (maple being more subtle, hickory being much stronger).

Sockeye Salmon is actually quite lean compared to most other species of salmon.  It has an incredible colour and very rich flavour.  It was great smoked, although I left it a medium rare so that it wouldn’t dry out.  It was divine!

Last but not least, is the cod.  A rather meaty, fatty fish, with a very soft flavour.  It took to the smoke really wonderfully.  It tasted less smokey than the trout and sockeye, even though I left it in the smoker for a good 10 minutes longer.  It was delicately flavoured with a really wonderfully moist yet flaky texture, and it just melted in your mouth.

As you can see, I paired the smoked fish with some garlic sauteed baby bok choy and caramelized oyster mushrooms (sauteed in a pan with butter, salt & pepper), which I finished with a little maple syrup.  Try it out sometime!

It’s easy, but certainly doesn’t taste like it!

Published in: on November 6, 2010 at 4:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Low Fat, Atkins-Friendly Steak & Rapini

Steak and Rapini are a great combination.  I was in the mood for a striploin today but didn’t want to feel super heavy and bloated after dinner (like I usually do).  So I stayed away from carbs and filled up on good old meaty protein.

I simply pan-fried (yes, grilling would have been even healthier) my steak in a tablespoon of vegetable oil (high smoke point i.e. it gets really hot) with sea salt and cracked black pepper, for about 2 minutes per side until it was perfectly rare. I prefer frying steaks in a cast iron skillet, as you get the nicest crust, but thick stainless steel will also do the trick.

The trick to cooking a great steak is in the heat of the pan and letting it be.  It is so important to let your pan heat up until it’s almost too hot and the oil is just about the smoke.  This way, when you add your steak to the pan, the heat won’t drop too much, and your steak will fry up nicely.  The ONLY way to get a nice, even, caramelized crust through what they call the Maillard Reaction is to place the steak in the pan and leave it.  Whatever you do, DO NOT FUSS WITH IT.  To develop the crust, it needs constant contact with the hot surface, so the more times you move it around, the less of a crust you will end up with. Also, throwing a little bit of butter in there about 30 seconds before you take it out will definitely help!

Meanwhile, I trimmed and washed my rapini and heated my wok.  Once heated, with about a teaspoon of olive oil, I threw the rapini into the wok.  I sliced some garlic into rather large pieces and added those as well.  I seasoned with salt and pepper and covered it so that it would slightly steam, to get the crunch out of the thick stems.

And, voila! Easy, tasty, satisfying, and low-fat! It is even Atkins-friendly!

Published in: on November 4, 2010 at 7:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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