Weekend Wrap-up

I’ll wrap up the events of the weekend before the next one rolls around. I spent Friday smoking several pounds of bluefish. This is actually easier than it sounds. Note all measurements are approximate.

Smoked Bluefish

Brine the filets of fish over night.

Heat coals in the smoker.

A half hour before you are ready to smoke, soak one bag of hickory or other wood chips in water to which is added about 3/ 4 cup of molasses. My neighbor wraps the soaked chips in heavy duty aluminum foil in which he pokes holes. Add chips to hot coals.

Bring smoker up to 200 degrees. Add fish, putting larger pieces on bottom rack and smaller ones on top.

Check temp after one-half hour and adjust vents so the temp stays between 150 and 170. (Monitor about every half hour)

Smoke for an hour and then check filets. They are done when they turn a nice golden-brownish color. The small ones usually take about two hours, the large ones a bit longer. Enjoy hot or room temp.

After I finished cooking and scrubbing pieces of fish off the grill, I jumped in the shower to remove all smoky, fishy smells and ran to the grocery store.

Picked Anna up at Bradley about 9 p.m. We giggled until midnight.

On Saturday we made bluefish paté, also easy. The recipe is from Legal Seafoods, which are among the best seafood restaurants in the country. I used way more than a pound of fish and so added much more of all other ingredients.

Smoked Bluefish Paté

1 pound smoked bluefish fillets
¼ pound cream cheese
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons Cognac
1 tablespoons minced onion (or scallions)
¼ – ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon lemon juice (fresh)
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Purée the bluefish, cream cheese, butter, and Cognac in a food processor. Add the onions (or scallions), Worcestershire sauce, and lemon juice and pulse the machine on and off until the ingredients are combined. Taste and correct the seasoning with salt and pepper.

Pack into a crock and serve with crackers or thinly sliced pieces of toast. The paté will keep in the refrigerator for 4-5 days, or may be frozen for up to 3 months. (Makes about 3 ¼ cups)

After we finished we jumped in the car and drove to Old Saybrook so Anna could see the store transformed (“On the Way to Madagascar?”). We bought fabulous wraps – baba ganoush with feta cheese for me and lamb sausage for Anna. Before we ate, though, we had to shop. Stopped in Ann Taylor Loft outlet in Westbrook, where the line to checkout was miles long. Explanation: 40 percent off everything in the store.

Went across the way to the shoe place where Anna bought a pair of Tone-ups and I bought a pair of Shape-ups. (Stay tuned for the review of Sketcher’s new products). Then we drove to Ivoryton and ate lunch under the gazebo next to the playhouse. My sandwich was so filling I only ate half. Then we dashed back up the river to my friend Linda’s in Portland. She rents a place right on the river and we sat out in front for an hour or so before we came back and ordered pizza – in town, not from faraway Pepe’s.

On Sunday we rose and prepared for the arrival of Larry’s family. We ate and drank all afternoon and were all cleaned up by dark – an amazing feat.

Monday consisted of more shopping. This time we walked to Marshalls, which has a mega shoe store where Anna found the shoes for work that she had intended to buy on Saturday. After lunch we walked about a mile to give some paté to friends who love it. They gave us a huge pile of homegrown basil and some of the hottest peppers I’ve ever tasted. The last ones endured for about five years, as I recall.

So of course we had to make pesto for dinner, which occasioned a trip to the supermarket (in the car this time) for Parm cheese and pine nuts.

Drove Anna to the airport Tuesday morning. And thus ended a terrific weekend.

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