In a warped voting scenario that took place in my own mind, obviously with nobody else around, there was a unanimous decision that the smoked Amberjack fish-spread that the Bessette Brothers had brought together would be the official fish spread of not only my life from this point forward,but of the creative venture that I am involved in called The New Angler. As soon as other involved parties had a taste and smell of what can only be described as pure seafood gold, it became official.
First things first, since we are fisherman we ventured offshore into the Gulf of Mexico and caught some Greater Amberjack for ourselves. I suggest trying to do or at least get the same, as fresh as you can to start. Cut out the bloodline and leave the skin on when you’re dressing the filets, and try to keep the smaller slot sized fish, the worms found in the big ones will turn your guests off real quick. If Amberjack isn’t available I strongly suggest Mullet, but if you can’t stand the refreshingly fishy yet smokey taste of Mullet, then feel free to go straight to hell. King or Spanish Mackerel are also good smoking fish.
The Dry Rub:
Amberjack is a good fish for the smoker because I think it has a nice clean taste while still retaining a natural bold seafood flavor. There are articles about brines and sugars and salts and I think they’re all a waste of time and money. If it’s a good smokin’ fish, don’t go trying to fix it like some kind of iron chef corncob, a little dry rub to add spice to the end product and on the smoker it goes!! Redfish Magic, Everglades Heat, garlic powder, pepper, salt, and maybe a little chili powder if you feel like visiting the spicier side of Fish-dip town, USA. Exact measurements during the rub are fruitless, just mix up what you think is right and have at it.
We were using the Bessette Brother’s smoker which while it made the best dip I’ve ever had wasn’t a marvel of custom fabrication or modern technology. Just a Vertical stacked smoker, hot coals, soaked apple or citrus wood chips out of a plastic bag from your friendly neighborhood grocer, and a little time. Smoke the filets with the skin on and facing down until you can
flake the fish with a fork. If you need a little more time, feel free, if the fish is just barely on the dry side it should flake easier.
Preparation, Preparation, Preparation:
Pull the fish out of the smoker, put it on some foil on your counter and flake the fish into a large mixing bowl. Add the following ingredients as your heart desires. Cooking stuff is about getting a general idea off of the internet then making it your own, so don’t get all uppity on me with these measurements. In our case, for one pound of filets, we used one cup of Mayonnaise (you can go a little custom on the mayo if you want, I don’t like it too sloppy), One Tablespoon Mustard, One Dash Worcestershire, One tablespoon of Sweet Pickles, One Clove of Garlic Minced, Two stalks of Celery chopped, One tablespoon minced Onion.
Combine the Mayo, Mustard, and Worcesteshire. Stir in the additional ingredients and then mix into the fish extremely thoroughly.
Chill and serve with, to, and on crackers.